For those in the northern hemisphere, winter is well and truly starting to creep upon us. Freezing temperatures, snow, ice and fog will cause motoring mayhem for many, leaving MPG figures a fraction of what they have been in the summer months. No need to worry, all is not lost! By taking just a few steps you can make the most of the winter months and ensure you are not wasting fuel needlessly.
Maintenance is the key to keeping you car running, whatever the season. However, winter driving is not only hard on your wallet – your car takes a hammering too. Ensure your cooling system is filled with the correct ratio of anti-freeze to water, you are using anti-freeze screen wash and that your tyres are all safe and legal.
Just in case you do end up waiting for the “very nice man” in his yellow truck, make sure you are ready to endure the winter weather without having to idle your car for 2 hours. Keep a warm jacket, gloves and hat in the boot. I would also recommend keeping a full can of di-icer, a shovel, a tow rope and a torch in the boot. These things are relatively cheap and could save your bacon.
Accidents happen, and when the weather is against you, they happen much more often. Instead of having to rush after being held up due to an accident or bad roads leave yourself some time to take these “issues” into account. Not only will you use less fuel, you’ll have a much calmer and enjoyable drive.
Looking down my street on an icy morning I see plumes of exhaust gases rising into the air as unprepared motorists blast their iced windscreens with the blower for 20minutes. Just by covering your windscreen and side windows, you can simply drive off after a brief unwrapping.
Use your garage (if you have one)
Before our garage was turned into a playroom, it was used as a secondary shed. Computer boxes, old bikes, lamps and old furniture made it impossible to park anything bigger than a hot wheels car inside it. Securing your ride in the garage will keep your priced auto out of the cold will keep the elements at bay. Your engine and fluids will reach operating temperatures quicker thus using less fuel.
If you do have to leave your car outside try and park it into the sun. This will help defrost and windows, mirrors and door handles that would normally have you reaching for the de-icer.
Most of our Winter Hypermiling Tips are common sense but it still amazes me how many people are not prepared for the colder months. For further winter hypermiling tips see our Hypermiling Techniques page.
If you have any other tips then please feel free to leave a comment below.