This week’s Greenlings topic came to us from another reader tip. Don asked why his fuel economy suffers so much in winter weather. In his own experience, mileage drops about 10 percent when the temperatures go from the 60-70 F range to near freezing. This is consistent with our own experience and in fact we’ve seen even bigger drops than that when testing hybrid vehicles in winter conditions.
There are a number of reasons why winter driving reduces efficiency ranging from fuels to driver safety and comfort. If you happen to live somewhere like California or Florida where winter means night-time lows dipping into the sixties, you may not have experienced this phenomenon, but those of who live places with actual seasons have grown accustomed to this. Read to learn more about why your car uses more fuel when its cold.