Do Short Trips And Adverse Weather Affect Vehicle Fuel Consumption?


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Taylor Edgar Profile
Taylor Edgar answered
Fuel consumption is affected by journeys of less than 3 - 5 miles because they do not give the engine sufficient time to reach normal running temperature. Engines use more fuel when they are cold; normal temperature is optimum efficiency.

Adverse weather conditions also put the engine under greater strain as the vehicle needs more power to battle against the elements, for instance, when there are strong winds, or low ambient temperatures lengthening the time it takes to reach normal running temperature.

For example, take a car with fuel consumption of 28 mpg at normal temperature. When starting from cold, the actual fuel consumption after the first three miles is 23.5 mpg if the ambient temperature is 20ºC, an increase of 20%. At 0ºC, fuel consumption during the first three miles will be 17.7 mpg, an increase of 60%. At a distinctly chilly -20ºC, fuel consumption during these first three miles will be a wallet-busting 14 mpg, a 100 %increase.

By using a car predominantly for short trips of between 3 – 5 miles, average fuel consumption may be as high as 60 to 80 per cent higher than normal.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
I wonder if moving from a cold climate to a warm climate can afect a vehicle? For example: A car has been in New York for 8 or 7 years and goes to permanently stay in like Florida.

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