Contrary to popular belief, warmer weather can actually increase your vehicle’s fuel economy in certain ways. This is due to the fact that it’s not cold out, so your car engine will warm up to a sufficient temperature more quickly. Although, keeping yourself and other passengers comfortable in summer weather by using the air conditioning and opening windows – are two factors that contribute to reduced fuel economy and filling up more on gas (which these days is very expensive!) when it’s hot out. So, how can you save some money on gas and still be as efficient as possible when it comes to running your vehicle in warm weather?
- When you’re traveling at lower speeds, it’s better to put down your car windows. Use the air conditioning when traveling at highway speeds. Opening your vehicle’s windows does increase wind resistance and forces your car to use more energy to drive. However, there isn’t nearly as much of an effect when traveling at slower speeds.
- Try not to use the air conditioning more than needed, or set the temperate for lower than needed. If you can get by with the a/c on at a higher temperature, you’ll save yourself some money and gas.
- When parking, try to leave your car in a shady spot or use a sun shade to reduce heat within the car’s cabin. This means reduced air conditioning when your car temperature starts at a cooler one.
- When you first start your car, try to drive with the windows open for a bit first before turning on the air. This will let hot air out of the car first and put less demand on your a/c.
- Air conditioning will cool your vehicle faster while you’re actually driving. Turning your vehicle on and blasting the a/c before actually driving will use more energy to cool it. Idling is not good for fuel efficiency.
- If you have an electric or hybrid car, cooling your car while still plugged into its charger can extend your vehicle’s range. Keeping the air on a warmer temperature will also use less battery power.
While your vehicle’s fuel economy does depend on outside temperature, humidity, and intensity of the sun – under extremely hot conditions, this all could reduce your fuel efficiency by over 25% (especially on shorter trips). By following the above tips – you can save on filling up at the pump as often, as well as extending the life of that tank of gas a little longer this summer.
For more information and cost estimates for your current vehicle or perhaps one you may be thinking about purchasing in the near future, be sure to check out the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency’s Fuel Economy Guide for Model Year 2022.
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Article Source: fueleconomy.gov