Fuel Economy Tip – Get All the Snow and Ice Off of Your Car

Well, it’s been quite a while since I posted an actual fuel economy tip here, so I figured it was about time to get a new and useful tip up here.  Hopefully the winter will continue to be nice and mild so this tip won’t be necessary, but in case you get stuck in a winter storm, this tip will probably be pretty handy.

Make sure all of the snow and ice is off of your car before you start driving down the road.

Aside from the safety issues (both for you and for other people on the road with you), getting all of the snow and ice off of your car will help you achieve much better gas mileage thanks to two main reasons:

  1. Weight
  2. Aerodynamics

If you’ve got a couple inches of snow or a layer of ice on your car it’s not enough to just clear your car’s windows – you need to get everything off your car.

Leaving a lot of snow and/or ice on your car will add between 50 and 100 pounds of additional weight to your car.  This extra weight will reduce your gas mileage between 1% and 2%.

In addition to reducing your car’s gas mileage thanks to the extra weight, the snow and ice will reduce gas mileage by reducing how aerodynamic your car is.

So, even though it can be a pain, make sure you clear all of the snow and ice off of your car before you head down the road.


  1. What about all that extra fuel spent clearing the extra snow off of your vehicle? I doubt very many people would clear the snow off without the thermal losses of the engine helping out.

  2. I do it all the time. Well, whenever it snows. But, I also like the elements.

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