5 Winter Driving Tips That Will Save Fuel

The autumn season is all but a memory to us now, winter is quickly approaching, and as I write this article it is a bone chilling temperature outside.  Snow and ice can be a beautiful sight to look at, but they are no laughing matter when it comes to driving.  Winter conditions are absolutely hazardous, and they aid in guzzling fuel at an alarming rate.  People often think of the safety conditions when driving in this type of weather, but they don’t always consider the amount of gasoline that is used up as well.  Allow me to give you a few tips on how to save money on fuel this season.

All wheel drive is an amazing feature to have on any car, and it isn’t exclusive to only trucks anymore.  Many light vehicles now offer this option for a higher sticker price.  That being said, front wheel drive is still quite prevalent,  and with front wheel drive comes the nasty situation of spinning your wheels aimlessly in the snow.  For years it seemed like a common ritual for me, I would at some point in the season get my vehicle stuck in the snow.  As frustrating as this is, the worst thing you can do is slam on the pedal and continuously spin your wheels and burn your fuel at the same time.  Take a deep breath, make a phone call to a friend or family member.  Putting some sand, salt, or traction in between the tire and snow will most likely do the trick, and you won’t waste any gas to boot!

Here is a tip that will benefit you all year round, go at a moderate and steady pace!  Driving at a steady pace will free you of accelerating and braking, which uses up more fuel.  Not to mention this has the added benefit of avoiding tailspins, and other common accidents when it is wet or icy outside.  Do yourself a favor and save money, while being safe all at the same time.

I cannot stress this next tip enough, make sure you the proper amount of air in your tires!  Winter conditions do enough damage to your fuel economy as it is, you don’t need to help it along.  Having properly inflated tires will save you money on gasoline.  This is also an easy check these days, as many vehicles monitor air pressure electronically from inside the comfort and warmth of your own car.

That isn’t the last tip regarding tires.  While having air in your tires is vital to safety and fuel economy, let’s go a step further and recommend snow tires.  These tires are built specifically with winter in mind, and as such they are designed to drive in conditions that all season tires simply cannot handle.  Visit your local tire store and price them out, you may find that they will save you money, and increase safety in the long run.  Fortunately most communities also provide road salt to avoid excessive skidding, but snow tires are a good back up to have.

Last by certainly not least, stop “warming” up your vehicle on those chilly mornings.  I know it seems like a warm and comfortable idea, but idling your engine does little to get the warm air blowing, and it does a lot to waste fuel.  Warming up the car five days a week can be a costly venture, and one that can be avoided by managing a small amount of discomfort.


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