Does weather affect gas mileage in a car?



  1. 0 Votes

    Yes.  The main impact that weather has on gas mileage is cold.  Simply put, engines function most efficiently when they’re warm.  There are a few reasons for this:  first, hot air is less dense, and since the necessary gas/air ratio in a cylinder is determined by mass, a fixed volume of hot air will require less gas than that of cold air; second, lubricants are less viscous at higher temperatures, which means there’s less friction.

    Beyond the engine, cold air can also affect gas mileage because its higher density creates more resistance against a car moving through it.  The higher density of cold air also affects tire pressure (since the air essentially shrinks inside the tire), which further reduces fuel efficiency.

  2. 0 Votes

    To expand on what maddie said, you get more actual fuel in your tank during colder months because gasoline, like most liquids and gasses, expands in the heat and contracts when it is cold. When you fuel up during the summer, the gasoline is less dense, meaning that you get fewer BTUs in every gallon. Therefore, the amount of fuel that you burn during the winter month is even greater than it appears to be. So, you may want to opt for more indoor activities during the winter such as reading a book inside.

    The link I cited puts a rather negative spin on the fact that gasoline expands during the summer, but if you are getting better gas mileage anyway, you aren’t really paying a premium on gasoline.

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