In many parts of the world the latest winter and spring caused more headaches than usual, with incredibly harsh December-March months and then a really long and rainy spring for others.
So, many of us welcome the onset of warm weather, though soon – as summer is fully upon us – will dread the high temperatures that put a strain on our endurance. Besides that, the weather also affects our cars – and especially our fuel bills.
During winter and generally cold weather conditions, the fuel consumption rises as the car’s engine needs more time and works harder to keep the right temperatures – for him, the car, and us. Now, during the summer, if you heed to some simple advices, the bill could actually go down.
The Department of Energy (DoE) and other industry experts say that the engine warms up faster – but now you have another worry – how to keep the cabin cool.
“Under very hot conditions, AC can reduce a conventional vehicle’s fuel economy by more than 25%,” say new guidelines on the Fueleconomy.gov website. And the tally on a hybrid or battery electric car “can be even larger on a percentage basis.”
The DoE says that running the AC after you started moving and cleared the interior hot air using the electric windows is more efficient than cooling down on the spot. Also, the service check-up could save you from fuel losses – as the car is more efficient when it’s “healthy”. The check should extend to the AC system, the level of coolant it needs and the radiator’s antifreeze – which prevents overheat during summer time.
For plug-in hybrids or battery cars, the best idea – as the technology on board has made it very easy – is to remotely start the cool down of the car while it’s still attached to the grid.