Fuel economy can take a tumble when temperatures plummet, according to the Department of Energy’s 2021 Fuel Economy Guide (PDF). Compiled by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the guide includes several tips to improve a vehicle’s fuel performance.
Parking your car in a warmer place, combining trips so that the vehicle is driven with a warm engine, and checking tire pressure regularly can all improve fuel economy. Driving sensibly, observing the speed limit, and limiting idling can also save money year-round.
“Many people think idling to warm up a car will improve fuel economy in cold weather,” ORNL’s Stacy Davis said. “However, cars warm up faster when driven, and idling gets zero miles per gallon. So, idle your vehicle as little as possible.”
The guide also helps consumers select the most fuel-efficient vehicle to save fuel and money in any weather.