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Cold weather fuel economy

5:27 PM, Jan 4, 2013   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - As the mercury drops, your fill-up frequency goes up.

There are many reasons why you might be making more frequent trips to the gas station.  The most common issues are poor driving conditions and low tire pressure.

When you're spinning your wheels on a patch of ice, you're burning fuel.  If your tires are under-inflated, the rubber spends more time in contact with the road, causing the tires to rotate more slowly.  Slower rotations mean more gas used to power the engine.

Here are two more things you might not realize impact fuel economy:

  • Letting your engine idle to warm it up improves over-all performance but it's still costing you precious gallons.
  • Gas is made of a slightly different formula in the winter?  Gasoline is formulated to fit many different specifications.  One of those specifications is called volatility.  Volatility is a measure of how easily the liquid can be vaporized.  That vapor is what burns and drives the pistons that move the engine.  In the winter, gas is formulated to vaporize more easily because the cold liquid is thicker.  Unfortunately, once the gas heats up, that means it burns off more quickly, too.

Check out this report from Chevron for more information.

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