SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Bitter cold temperatures can change how much gas your car uses. The U.S. Department of Energy says your car’s fuel efficiency can drop by 22% when temperatures dip to below freezing.
Steven Mailloux of Marcotte Ford told 22News, “You can notice sometimes when you’re driving your car when it’s extremely cold, the transmission shifts much harder. There’s a reason for it because the transmission fluid is very, very thick when the car’s extremely cold.”
Letting your car warm up for a few minutes before driving can help the engine reach its most fuel-efficient temperature. A government website, FuelEconomy.gov, also suggests checking your tire pressure regularly.
Don’t use seat warmers or defrosters more than necessary. Remove accessories that can increase wind resistance, like ski and bike racks on your roof. And keep an eye on how fast you’re driving.
“Do away with jack-rabbit starting, you know, ease on the gas pedal when you’re taking off. Keep your car at reasonable speeds. That will always maximize your fuel economy,” Mailloux said.
If you drive a hybrid, your fuel efficiency can drop by as much as 33%.