The lower the temperature is outdoors, the more significant the impact is on your car’s gas mileageAs we near the fall and winter months here in Oklahoma, the conditions can start to turn south. If you’re planning on taking a long drive for the holidays to meet the family or have a nice vacation further up north, it will help your vehicle greatly to optimize its fuel efficiency.

The lower the temperature is outdoors, the more significant the impact is on your car’s gas mileage – up to a third depending on the conditions outside. This has a larger consequence on battery-based vehicles when the temperature starts to plunge as the battery tends to hold less energy. Other determining factors include icy or slick roads which cause reduced tire traction and the amount of fuel it takes to warm up your vehicle.

Fortunately, there are simple and cost-effective steps you can take to improve your vehicle’s fuel economy while dealing with the cold weather. For one thing, don’t spending too much time warming your vehicle up before you get to it in the morning. Do it while you’re just about to head out as your car will actually heat up faster once it’s out on the road.

Another key recommendation is to check the tire pressure as frequently as possible. The weather outside has a direct impact on the pressure inside your tires. The colder the weather is, the more the air inside your tires will contract, lowering the pressure as a result.

If you notice your tire pressure light come on, this could be what’s causing the problem. Once you start driving, the friction on the road will cause your tires to heat up and raise the pressure inside of them. That’s why it’s so important to check your tire pressure only when they’re cold to avoid inaccurate results. Underinflated tires will reduce gas mileage and increase tire wear while also resulting in poor handling. Likewise, driving on low pressure escalates the risk of a blowout.

Once you start driving, the friction on the road will cause your tires to heat up and raise the pressure inside of themThis is why you need to make sure your tires are always set to its recommended cold tire inflation PSI, especially during the cold months of the year. If you don’t have a gas station or a nearby spot that offers air for cars, you can always invest in a portable air compressor online that typically works through your car’s cigarette lighter.

Additionally, we recommend doing as many errands as possible in one trip instead of constantly going outside so you conserve your vehicle’s fuel. If you start to notice any serious issues with your vehicle’s performance, be sure to have a professional check it out to avoid a larger issue.

These are just a few of the steps you can take to maintain or improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, but there are other methods available. What has helped you maximize your vehicle’s efficiency during the winter months? Leave your comment below!