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Do you get better fuel/gas mileage in winter or summer?

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View Poll Results: When do you get the best fuel mileage
Winter/Cold weather
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15.38%
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51.28%
Same year round
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33.33%
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Do you get better fuel/gas mileage in winter or summer?

Old 01-15-2020, 07:22 AM
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Default Do you get better fuel/gas mileage in winter or summer?

Ongoing debate at work. Interested to hear what the THT braintrust says and why.

I realize there are a lot of variables at play here such as winter vs. summer fuel formulations, driving habits, length of days, accessory use etc. but scientifically, should you get better fuel mileage in the winter or summer?
Old 01-15-2020, 07:26 AM
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Summer. There are additives in winter fuel that makes it worser.
Old 01-15-2020, 07:36 AM
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Haven't noticed a difference mpg wise. Rec90. South Florida. However, Winter it's blowing 20+ seas 4'+. Barely use any fuel because boat stays on trailer. Summer you can cruise at 4k rpm everywhere and that uses a lotta fuel.
Old 01-15-2020, 07:43 AM
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Engines make more power when temps are cooler so, theoretically, all things equal, winter would provide better fuel mileage.

I'm not an engineer, though.
Old 01-15-2020, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by NCSUboater View Post
Summer. There are additives in winter fuel that makes it worser.
Bingo...
Old 01-15-2020, 07:46 AM
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Fuel Economy in Cold Weather - https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/coldweather.shtml

Fuel Economy in Hot Weather - https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/hotweather.shtml
Old 01-15-2020, 07:46 AM
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Summer.

Four wheel drive is a killer on the gas tank.
Old 01-15-2020, 07:54 AM
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Winter blend fuel sucks. At least 5% reduction in MPG. Maybe more.


Old 01-15-2020, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by schoolsout1 View Post
Engines make more power when temps are cooler so, theoretically, all things equal, winter would provide better fuel mileage.

I'm not an engineer, though.
Making more power and being more efficient with each drop of gas are two different things, albeit related.

If you can make more power with a smaller engine, then you're lowering the losses associated with that larger engine. Having a cooler intake charge allows you to get more fuel and air into any given engine, which should result in more overall power out of that same engine.

However, at anything less than the full output of the engine, the throttle and lower temperatures due to the vacuum cause slightly less power to be delivered out of the crankshaft per each drop of gasoline put into it. With all other things being the same, the engine will have a less efficient fuel economy in colder temperatures.
Old 01-15-2020, 07:55 AM
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Complete crap all the time. 13-14 typically.

Truck has the stupid MDS system on it that drops out cylinders for "better" mpg. Sadly adding a very mild tune (20ish HP) and turning off MDS picked up 1/2 MPG. Also some how made the previously inaccurate in truck mileage display be pretty well accurate. Previously it was always optimistic by 2-3 mpg.
Old 01-15-2020, 07:56 AM
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I believe I lose about 2mpg in winter.
Old 01-15-2020, 08:23 AM
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Diesels almost always get better mileage with the summer blend.
Old 01-15-2020, 08:30 AM
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One thing that often gets ignored is the aspect of drag in differing temperatures. Cold air is thicker and pushes harder against your truck. Just like driving at altitude, temperature/humidity can make the equivalent difference of about 4,000 feet in altitude.
Old 01-15-2020, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by km1125 View Post
Making more power and being more efficient with each drop of gas are two different things, albeit related.

If you can make more power with a smaller engine, then you're lowering the losses associated with that larger engine. Having a cooler intake charge allows you to get more fuel and air into any given engine, which should result in more overall power out of that same engine.

However, at anything less than the full output of the engine, the throttle and lower temperatures due to the vacuum cause slightly less power to be delivered out of the crankshaft per each drop of gasoline put into it. With all other things being the same, the engine will have a less efficient fuel economy in colder temperatures.
interesting
Old 01-15-2020, 08:57 AM
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Third winter with my Kia Niro - struggle to get 50 mpg (by dash gauge, closer to 48 measured) in the winter; last summer I was running 58-61 mpg per tank gauge (55-59 measured). Mileage really drops when temps go below 40°F.
Drove diesel VWs for forty years, 10-20% drop in the winter with them as well. One significant factor is the viscosity of the transmission fluid. When the tranny was cold manual shifts took a bit longer for the first 8 - 10 miles when it was near freezing or lower and trip mpg indicator showed a pretty significant mileage hit. If I set out on a cold morning and drove 15 - 20 miles mileage was always lower than what I got on a return trip an hour later. Last VW had a DSG transmission and fluid changes on it required that the tranny fluid be measured at 90°F when filling the slushbox. There was a lot of thermal expansion in that fluid - I know this because I changed that fluid several times. The factory recommended method for fluid replacement was to put the fluid in cold and fill until fluid spilled over a drain pipe. You then let the motor idle while the fluid warmed up to 90°. As the fluid warmed it expanded and spilled/drained into the standpipe. Typically got almost a quart of overspill before I hit 90°. Mileage in the cold weather with the DSG was also way worse in the winter, and first 15 miles on a cold day were the worst.
Old 01-15-2020, 09:00 AM
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I would guess that for people who live in the Great White North with freezing conditions and who have to park outside that they tend to let the vehicle idle/warmup a lot longer to help defrost the windows? I wouldn't know since I've lived in Central Florida for 40 years now.
Old 01-15-2020, 09:04 AM
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Winter is worse. More time running in cold start mode (rich a bit to light off CC). Oil is stiffer, more friction. More time idling truck with remote start. Fuel blends less btu's. 4WD (or at least in Auto mode with front shafts engaged for more mass to spin). More time pushing slushy crap on road.

I'll quit before I get too depressed.
Old 01-15-2020, 09:08 AM
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Haven't noticed a difference in my truck. However my boat sees a 100% improvement in gas consumption in winter.
Old 01-15-2020, 09:09 AM
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I live in Florida and I dont really notice any change. I do notice that my diesel truck SEEMS to have more power when its colder, but as far as actual mileage, its pretty rock steady going across alligator alley. Fill ups are withing a half a gallon per trip.

Edit, I actually think the extra felt power is just the AC not being on.....
Old 01-15-2020, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by EMC Pursuit View Post
I live in Florida and I dont really notice any change. I do notice that my diesel truck SEEMS to have more power when its colder, but as far as actual mileage, its pretty rock steady going across alligator alley. Fill ups are withing a half a gallon per trip.

Edit, I actually think the extra felt power is just the AC not being on.....
yes you will feel more power with cooler conditions in the diesel.

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