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Ensure Your Vehicle Stays Fuel Efficient in the Coldest Climates

As the chill of winter descends upon us, our focus naturally shifts towards cozy blankets and warm beverages. However, it’s easy to overlook one essential aspect of our daily lives – the fuel that powers our vehicles. As temperatures plummet, so does the efficiency of gasoline, making it imperative for us to explore ways to preserve gas during the winter months. We are here to provide you with some practical tips to ensure that your vehicle stays fuel-efficient even in the coldest of climates.

Stay at half. Keep at least a half-tank of fuel during cold winter months, and when there is a risk of shortages, say, due to a lack of gasoline delivery drivers to meet travel demands, or when a major storm is imminent.. Having plenty of gas onboard can ease stress and give you more flexibility with when and where you fill up.

 Check online. Apps and websites such as GasBuddy can show local gas prices, making it easy to find good prices in your area. Generally, gas stations well off major highways and away from city centers tend to have better prices, as do warehouse stores and some major travel centers.

 Minimize travel. If you can delay errands or other activities, you will preserve the gas that you purchased and reduce overall consumption for the region, helping in some small way to reduce the gas scarcity.

 Obey speed limits. When you drive, follow the speed limits and drive smoothly. Your driving habits can play a significant role in fuel economy. Beyond fuel concerns, speeding is, of course, a safety risk.

Drive evenly. Avoid hard acceleration and braking whenever possible. The harder you accelerate, the more fuel you use. Unnecessary braking wastes the fuel you used to get up to speed. Drive smoothly and anticipate the movement of traffic. Smooth acceleration, cornering, and braking also extend the life of the engine, transmission, brakes, and tires.

Pay attention to aerodynamics. Remove roof racks when they are not being used. At highway speeds, more than 50 percent of engine power goes to overcoming aerodynamic drag. Don’t add to that by carrying unneeded things on the roof.

Buy good-quality gas. We typically recommend using Top Tier gas—that is, gas that is held to a higher standard through the voluntary participation of numerous gas station brands, including Chevron, Costco, Exxon, Mobil, and Shell. Beware that many familiar brands do not have Top Tier gas. The goal is to feed your car good-quality gas whenever possible, but it is fair to be flexible during a shortage or when traveling. If you use non-Top Tier gas on occasion, it may cause engine deposits. However, the detergents in Top Tier gas can eventually clean any engine deposits that may accumulate.

Skip the premium. Save money and skip premium gas unless it is “required.” This is indicated on the fuel filler door. Many cars list “recommended,” which means it is optional. If there is only midgrade or premium fuel available, this will work fine in a car that is rated for regular gasoline.

Check tire pressure. Check your tire pressure. Tires lose about 1 psi a month. Having tires with lower pressure than what is recommended on your door jamb sticker can affect performance, tire longevity, and fuel economy.

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