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Old 12-16-2010, 03:49 PM   #1
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Low mileage in winter

I drive a ford ranger 6 cilinder 4 wheel drive and ger about 18 to 19 mpg in the summer and now that it has gotten cold I am down to 17 mpg. I think it is the cold air going into the engine or really dry air. What do you think?
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:07 PM   #2
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Re: Low mileage in winter

There's a bunch of factors that may be to blame.
- Winter mix fuel
- Cold intake air
- Extra aerodynamic drag from denser cold air
- Extra electric draw from heater
- Extra idling
- A bunch of other stuff I forgot that someone else will hopefully post
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:55 AM   #3
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Re: Low mileage in winter

I'd recommend getting an engine block heater of some sort... if you put it on a timer to only run for 1-2 hours before you leave in the morning, it will make a huge difference in warmup time. It's much more efficient than letting your truck idle to warm up!

A fully warmed engine gets considerably better MPGs than a cold one. Block heaters are relatively inexpensive, and can actually pay for themselves over a winter.
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:58 AM   #4
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Re: Low mileage in winter

I'd say the two biggest causes of MPG loss for winter is the winter gas blend, and the colder engine means you spend longer with "choke" on. Or rather, longer time in "warm up mode"
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:03 AM   #5
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Re: Low mileage in winter

Lets not forget how cold the gears are and how much drag the lube makes when cold. Try to really baby the engine when it is cold - I notice a BIG MPG hit when trying to go fast on a cold engine - If I keep the RPM really low until it warms up it is not such a big hit but trying to get up to 40mph with the cold light on (below 137F) it kills the mileage for the entire trip and a long idle when cold brings the mpg down into the single digits for the first mile. Just start it up and get moving slowly as it warms up is the best thing to do.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:24 AM   #6
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Re: Low mileage in winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biffmeistro View Post
I'd say the two biggest causes of MPG loss for winter is the winter gas blend
Yeah, winter gas sucks. If you have a source of E0 (aka ethanol free ir unblended) gasoline in your area, give it a try. There has been a lot of debate over exactly how much of a difference you might see, but if it's simialr in price, go for it. Folks have reported anywhere from 0%-20% improvement. YMMV. Literally.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:43 AM   #7
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Re: Low mileage in winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
There's a bunch of factors that may be to blame.
- Winter mix fuel
- Cold intake air
- Extra aerodynamic drag from denser cold air
- Extra electric draw from heater
- Extra idling
- A bunch of other stuff I forgot that someone else will hopefully post
Exactly. My gaslogs (both cars) are big indicators of poor wintertime MPG.
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:19 PM   #8
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Re: Low mileage in winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biffmeistro View Post
the colder engine means you spend longer with "choke" on. Or rather, longer time in "warm up mode"
This.
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:27 PM   #9
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Re: Low mileage in winter

I guess I should add some more info. My truck sits inside and the temp never gets below 32 degrees. I though that the winter blend was the problem so I filled up out off the farm tank that was filled when it was hot out and it did not help at all.
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:42 PM   #10
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Re: Low mileage in winter

Any check engine light on, is your truck in a goo state of tune
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