You may not be able to completely mitigate cold weather’s effect on your fuel economy, but you can do some simple things to help you operate your car more efficiently:
- Park your car in a warmer place, such as your garage, to increase the initial temperature of your engine and cabin.
- Combine trips when possible so that you drive less often with a cold engine.
- Minimize idling your car to warm it up. Most manufacturers recommend driving off gently after about 30 seconds. The engine will warm up faster being driven, which will allow the heat to turn on sooner, decrease your fuel costs, and reduce emissions.
- Don’t use seat warmers or defrosters more than necessary.
- Check your tire pressure regularly.
- Use the type of oil recommended by your manufacturer for cold weather driving.
- Remove accessories that increase wind resistance, like roof racks, when not in use.
Plug-in Hybrids or EVs:
- Preheat the cabin while plugged into the charger.
- Use the seat warmers instead of the cabin heater.