Car Care 2013 Tip 26:How to Save Fuel During Cold Weather


When exposed to cold weather the car’s engine would not start easily. In this condition, the engine also needs to work hard to reach the optimal temperature to function well and this leads to higher fuel consumption. The primary reason for this is that engine is designed to work at a certain temperature. This simply means that the car needs to reach the specified temperature to be able to complete fuel combustion.

In addition to this, starting a car in a colder temperature increases its gas emission.  This because the emission control system  is also designed to work efficiently at the same temperature. When the engine starts at a lower temperature, it lubricants are thick and dense which forces the engine work harder, burn more fuel and produce harmful gas emissions. In order to to reduce your car’s fuel consumption and the level of gas emission during the colder season, you should try using the following procedures.

Use block heater

1. Use block heater

One of the most effective ways to reduce your car’s fuel consumption during cold weather condition is by using a block heater . The block heater heats up the coolant of the vehicle prior to its use. The heated  coolant allows  the car’s engine to reach it’s ideal temperature a soon as it was placed to a start. The block heater also heats up the air that goes inside the car too. Since the engine reaches it’s ideal temperature sooner, the car’s  fuel consumption is reduced. In addition to this, the possibility of engine damage is lowered down and the harmful emission that comes out of the exhaust pipe is minimized.

This result of the application of block heater into the car’s engine was further proved by  research conducted by Environment Canada. The results of the study showed that engines that were started in cold temperatures specifically under -25 degrees Celsius  consume as much as 25% of fuel in a single short trip compared to engines which utilized Block Heater prior to starting.

2. Avoid starting the car and leave the engine running

Another way of saving gas during the colder season is to avoid starting the car and have its engine running for a few minutes to reach the ideal temperature. This common practice is a myth. In reality the car’s engine does not reach its ideal temperature by just keeping the engine running. You really have to drive the car so that the engine would reach the required temperature faster and better. By avoiding this practice, you would save gas since leaving the car parked and the engine running uses as much as four percent of your vehicle’s total annual fuel consumption.

About Marty Bay

Marty Bay is the Lead Writer and Editor for VPM Automotive. He has researched and reviewed 100s of cars, and writes extensively about car technologies.
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