This is directed specifically to those in the great white North. To those who still hypermile on the frozen tundra of the Northern U.S., Candada etc.
It was back in Jan 1982 that I parked my car in my Minnesota garage for the last time. I was moving to Georgia and wanted an early start, and snow had already piled about in the drive.
I awoke at about 4AM to find the snow drifted about 3 feet deep across the drive, and wasn't able to get the car to the plowed road until about 6AM.
That was the last I saw of real snow.
I wasn't a hypermiler then and was wondering what it is like to hypermile in those conditions.
I am hoping for descriptive posts...something more than "difficult" or "Challenging"
Do you get up earlier to prepare your car? Attach radiator block? Remove the wheel-cicles? What do you do differently than summer? More details you can provide will make more interesting read.
I do a few things differently down here in GA but would like to hear a few of your experiences first.
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I don't commute regularly, but this month I've been watching a house for friends who are away in FLA. (Smart them - Feb has been truly winterish.) I've been making a round trip nearly every day...
- The hardest part of hypermiling in -10 to -20 C weather is the car doesn't really warm up (for the length of drive I'm doing). Even using a block heater, the temp gauge is JUST approaching normal after about 6 km (4 mi) of driving. So I've had to add another step to the procedure: when killing the ICE to coast, also kill the heater fan, or you'll end up bleeding all the heat from the core and slowing down the warm up period even more.
- I've started pre-warming the car's interior with a 750watt 120v space heater
- It can be difficult to clutch-start the car in very slick conditions (wheels just slide, as they would if you stepped on the brakes with too much pressure)
- high speed cornering to maintain momentum may not be an option (see above)
- Getting out of people's way is more difficult. E.g. I'll typically signal and coast onto the shoulder to encourage a (faster) following car to pass me, but that's not as much of an option when the shoulder is a snow bank.
- I never idle to warm up, but in really cold weather in the past 2 days I have idled at the end of trips to ensure the battery is topped up for the next one (sort of what clencher mentioned). Hypermiling is hard on batteries, and this is more evident in the cold when their performance is already compromised.
- it's much easier to get the car efficiently pointed, ***-end, into a parking spot in the winter though: handbrake!
I still hypermile in winter - but, the winter here isn't as extreme as your winter . I park my car in gear with handbrake off to avoid overnight frozen calipers. Looking at it, heavy winter conditions are going to kill MPG (even the relatively mild Scottish winter is reducing mine), but, if you use some techniques, such as not speeding around everywhere, still coasting to a stop at lights / junctions / roundabouts, and accelerating using 30-50% load and then coasting with the engine ON, you will get better MPG than you would have.
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Bush pilots in the GWN(Great white north) drain the oil and warm it on the stove when they are ready to go again. When we had our winter down here (the week of freezing temps, sorry guys) I played with this on the maxima. Block heater on: drain the oil and stick it on the stove, while I ate breakfast, when it reached 200 degrees I poured it back in. After a couple of time you can tell by the smell when it's the right temp.
The whole procedure took about 30 minutes. 10 minutes to drain and refill and 20 minutes to heat. I had a drop down door in the belly pan for quick access. My car is also in the garage with make it's nice not being in the weather.
No SG on that car but it was warm out the door instead of 3-5 miles down the road with just the radiator hose block heater.
I recently attached a canvas grill block with Velcro made by a small company in Minnesota. (I forget the name, damned Early Onset Alzheimers!) It was reall easy to install, and it looks good. It's too early to tell whether this helped, but I was down to 15 mpg city in the F350 diesel before I added it.
My tires are OEM Goodrich 265/75 16s, and they have about 50K miles. The tread is deep enough to pass inspection, but the truck did NOT like the slush at our local Dead Man's Curve this morning. I'm thinking of Michelin 235/85 16 snow tires soon. The narrower, lighter tire might help my mileage.
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Bush pilots in the GWN(Great white north) drain the oil and warm it on the stove when they are ready to go again.
Hmmm, wouldn't an oil pan warmer be easier and less messy? www.summitracing.com has them last time I looked. Would also avoid releasing blowby gasses from the oil into your house which would probably smell better and be healthier.
I really should get an oil warmer, and a block heater. ID gets pretty cold and I'll be moving to MI this year so it would be beneficial.
I don't hypermile though, just drive smoothly. So that really doesn't change in winter and actually makes it easier on slick roads. Guess I do take the corners slower, so there is a bit more speed up/slow down than usual.