Winter gas milage

I know we get less gas milage in the winter and part of that is due to taking the time to warm the car and such. But has any studies been done to show how much of a drop in gas milage we see in winter over summer?

I don’t know but I never seemed to lose any with my 74 Suburban which got 7.6 all year long. It cost me $18 to fill it up once so I got rid of it. I forgot to mention the 30 gallon tank.

There are too many variables. Different types of vehicles are affected differently.

If you’re taking time to warm up the car, you’re wasting gas. Normally 15-30 seconds are all that’s needed.

If you experience sub-zero conditions, maybe a minute. Then drive. Gently.

The engine and the rest of the car will warm up more quickly if you drive gently than if you just let it sit and warm up.

Paradise. People like to get into a warm car…this takes more than 15-30 seconds. They arent all as tough as you and i

When you are getting winter blend fuel, you are getting fuel with less power (not related to octane) per unit so you will get less mileage.  How much varies from fuel to fuel driving style etc.  It is not a great amount, but anyone keep track will see it.

My mileage drops about 25% in the winter on both cars but we do shorter trips and spend a lot of time wiyh the car running with the defroster on to soften the rock hard ice and snow so we can scrape it.

Make sure your tires are filled to the recommended pressure. Lower temperatures outside lower the pressure of the air in your tires. Low pressure = lower mileage. PV = NRT or something like that from high school physics.

The shorter your trips, the more your mileage will suffer. Depends on the vehicle too.

I probably average a 10% drop in Minnesota. On a long road trip, there may not be a difference in MPG since AC would drop MPG a little in summer.

It’ll vary widely depending on the vehicle, the driving environment 9including the weather where an individual is), car warming habits, type of driving (proportion of city to highway), and your driving style.

A Suburban with a big motor in North Dakota that gets warmed up every morning and raraly goes on the highway will be affected far more than a Civic in New Hampshire that doesn;t get warmed up every morning and is used to commute 30 miles each way.

It’s such a waste, just let the idle drop and go, it will get warm. My 2 newer cars have near instant heat. By the end of my (short) street the air is temperate, a couple blocks later it is very warm. 60-90 seconds from leaving the driveway

Oh, and not to mention “winter formulated gas” that has more ethanol, which is less energy per volume.

I get a lot less in the winter, on long trips after it is warmed up. It must be the winter fuel formulation.

Don’t forget your car runs richer when cold also. The longer it takes to warm up to the point it can run on a leaner mixture (say 1-2 minutes in summer as opposed to 10-15 in the winter) the worse your mileage will be.

I get about 1-1.5 MPG less on a 3.5L V6. But I usually only get 17-18 or so in the city anyway.

That’s pretty bad. I got 8.5 with my 1974 Cadillac with the 500cid V8, and being a young punk, I would floor it about 5 times a day.

Just want to add to the discussion that you should buy gas on the coldest days possible. Gasoline (and any other liquid or gas) contracts when as it gets colder. Even water does, although it expands when frozen because of the hydrogen bond.
The result is that in cold weather you actually get more gasoline in each gallon purchased than you do in warm weather. Maybe not much more, but it should help to offest the cost of warming the car before driving.

The slight gain is probably offset by the fun of standing out in a howling gale, pumping your gas. Plus the tanks are underground, and the temperature there doesn’t change very quickly–so you could have a 50-degree day, then a -2 degree day and the gas from the underground tank wouldn’t be much colder, if at all.

Probably the best way to maximize this would be to fill up an a freezing cold day right after the freezing cold tanker finished filling the station’s underground tanks. (assuming the gas pumps don’t compensate for the density of the liguid anyway)

On par with my winter drop of 2%.

Reader’s Digest version:

Conditions 20F vs 77F
Average Fuel Economy Reduction 5.3%
Maximum Fuel Reduction 13%

I just got the best gas mileage EVER in my '99 CR-V (30.3 mpg hwy) on a 170-mile hwy trip on December 11, outside temp around 45 degrees. Likely because (1) I had just filled tires to 32 psi (Honda recommends 26 and I’m usually running 28-30) and (2) I set the cruise control to about 63 mph the whole way.

Under other conditions (driving faster, on lower tire pressure) I would normally get 27-28 mpg. The other difference this time is that I poured a can of SeaFoam into the gas tank just before filling up for the trip. I doubt the SeaFoam had anything to do with the better mileage; I was only doing it to clean the injectors.

Anyway, just a data point to show that “winter” gas doesn’t have much, if anything, to do with lower mileage in winter driving.