Winter Gas Milage. Why does it drop?

Winter time has hit where you live and you’ve noticed your gas milage has taken a slight dip from the summer time and you notice you are going through gas a little faster than a couple of months ago. Watching that needle on your dashboard and fuel costs going up and down each week, drivers are more aware of what their mile per gallon consumption is. So what is going on in your car that makes your gas milage shrink when the cold weather starts?

Winter Gas Pump Frozen


When buying a vehicle did you know that the MPG is just a suggested average? There may be a flucuation because of personal driving habits and the conditions of your location. Now having said that, after doing some research, there really is a change in MPG when weather changes.

There are several factors that contribute to your fuel efficency dropping in colder, winter months. Crappy road conditions, tire pressure, lower than average engine temperature, higher electrical loads, and aerodynamic changes are just a few factors. According to Harold Schock, professor of mechanical engineering and the director of the Automotive Research Experiment Station at Michigan State University, standard vehicles tend to use more energy at start up in colder temperatures. The tire pressure is effected in both the winter and the summer. He says that the amount of drag between tires and the road is about 20 percent greater at 0 degrees F than it is at 80 degrees F.

Be patient with your cars performance, make sure that it is serviced for the winter time, and once summer comes watch that fuel economy go back up!

Great Resources if you are interested in the science behind gasoline and mpg’s;

Scientific American

It Is Science

Metro MPG

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