Effects of Hot Weather on Your Vehicle’s Gas Mileage
Many people are unaware of the impact of hot weather on their car’s gas mileage. Here, we explain how environmental factors can cause your vehicle to consume more fuel than usual.
Does Heat Increase Fuel Consumption?
Hotter temperatures lead to a faster engine warm-up, which demands more energy. In addition, warm air generates less aerodynamic drag than cold air, which means your car has to work harder to move forward. These two factors combined result in increased fuel consumption.
The Impact of Air Conditioning and Open Windows on Your Fuel Efficiency
When driving on a hot day, passengers often want to use the air conditioning or roll down the windows to feel more comfortable. However, these actions can affect your fuel savings.
Using air conditioning is the most influential factor in reducing fuel efficiency in hot weather, and its impact depends on the temperature, humidity, and intensity of the sun. Studies have shown that a combination of air conditioning and excessive heat can increase gasoline consumption by up to 25 percent.
How to Save Fuel on Hot Days
To improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency on hot days, consider the following tips:
- Roll down the windows at low speeds and use air conditioning while driving on the highway.
- Avoid using air conditioning more than necessary and adjust the temperature to a comfortable level.
- Park in a shaded area or use a cover to prevent your car’s interior from overheating.
- Before turning on the air conditioner, drive with the windows open for a while to allow hot air to escape from the car’s interior.
- Turn on the air conditioner once you begin driving or after briefly ventilating the passenger compartment. Most air conditioning systems cool the car more efficiently while it is moving.
- For electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, pre-cool the cabin while plugged in to help extend the vehicle’s range. Additionally, using a moderate temperature in the air conditioner will reduce battery power consumption.