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So like many people you probably notice you get worse gas mileage in the winter than in the summer. When your oil and oil pan are cold your oil becomes sticky and takes more energy to pump through the engine. Gas doesn’t like to vaporize at colder temperatures so oil companies change the gasoline blend  differently for cold weather markets. Karl, good idea I actually started doing that recently to help eliminate causes for my lower MPG during the winter. The number of fuel molecules per cubic volume is much higher in cold weather than warm, as is the oxygen density in air. Chuck, fuel density is higher in cold weather you are correct but that actually would mean you are using more fuel when its’ cold.
Actually, it means that the energy density of a gallon of gas is much higher in Winter than in Summer.
Again you are refereeing to something that has no bearing on warming an engine What does the cooling system have to due with warming?
Chuck you are dismissing the fuel needed to achieve ideal operating temperature when the engine is below 68°.
Actually raise your concern about the cooling system and water pump at colder temperatures.
The main issue is still the radiator bleeding off the heat the engine needs, and the thermostat staying mostly closed because of the coolant cooling off so quickly. That drag on the coolant pump requires the engine to work harder to keep spinning the serpentine belt on the front of the motor, which contributes to the loss of fuel economy that you are seeing.
Until a modern engine comes to temp it runs rich to heat up the emissions system, hence the lower temp it starts the more fuel it uses. Actually this is the recommended advice for modern vehicles with electronic fuel injection.
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. When you first start driving an electric car, one of the biggest adjustments you have to make is with the heating. Every driver dreads having to de-ice his car on winter mornings, but the owner of this vehicle really has his work cut out. But they didn't remain soaked for long - so cold was the temperature that their riot shields were instantly iced over.
The house that she and her family were renting before the disaster was destroyed by the quake. Some of the survivors in tents are now placing plastic sheeting over their shelters to try to stay as warm as possible. David Cameron is coming under pressure to stop British overseas territories and Crown dependencies being used by the wealthy to reduce their tax bills. Struck by the Royal Mint they have been issued in a variety of finishes and metals, including editions in platinum, gold and silver. Cabinet member and Employment Minister Priti Patel has warned the health service will be better off if the UK votes to leave the EU. Forces in both Lancashire and Cheshire have issued alerts over the use of Santander cashpoints as customers' details may be at risk. I do not have the option of getting them into a warm garage, nor am I skilled enough to remove the battery or any of the other solutions I have read online. I personally witnessed the failure condition of this suggestion when a flap of the tarp came into contact with a high-wattage floodlight being used in place of the space heater.
Jump starting hybrids may be a whole different ballgame, just had this discussion with my neighbor whose Prius won't start in balmy 40 degree Savannah.
Short-term solution: Assuming no one is willing to give you a jump, call AAA and ask for a jumpstart.
Long-term solution: When I was working from home and didn't drive my car very often, my (new) battery died on a semi-regular basis. What that boils down to is that unless it's like -20°F or colder where you are, your cars should be starting. Oh, and just for the sake of completeness, make sure that you didn't inadvertently leave anything on in the cars which may have drained the batteries (even partially).
It's also just possible (though very unlikely, especially with two new cars) that your alternators are bad or there's a bad electrical connection between the battery and the starter motor. Final thought: if you have a lot of corrosion at your battery terminals, it may be enough to just clean them. If you don't live in a house with external power, or in a frozen wasteland where block heaters are so ubiquitous that every parking space has its own outlet (Edmonton's like that), you might have trouble finding somewhere to plug in a block heater. I was going to say that you should plug in your car (which keeps the block heater going) if it's below -30C, but you're only at around -20C, so I'm going to with a bad battery. Ask MetaFilter is a question and answer site that covers nearly any question on earth, where members help each other solve problems.
If your car battery can't start the engine, the best is to recharge the battery with an external car battery charger. Connect the red clamp from the car battery booster to the positive terminal of the battery. Connect the blue clamp from the car battery booster to a clean, unpainted metallic area in the engine block not too close to the battery. Turn off all accessories, heaters and lights on both vehicles, especially electronic appliances, such as a radio or audio system and ensure there is plenty of battery ventilation. Start the car with the good battery and let it run for at least two or three minutes at medium RPM to recharge its battery.

Connect the positive (+) dead battery terminal to the positive (+) good starting battery terminal with the red booster cable. Connect the one black booster cable clamp to the negative (-) terminal on the good battery. Connect the other black booster cable clamp to a clean, unpainted metallic area on the engine block or frame on the disabled vehicle and at least 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) away from the battery.
Let the good vehicle continue to run at medium RPM for five minutes or more to allow the dead battery to receive some recharge, to warm its electrolyte, and reduce the load of the dead battery. Disconnect the negative (-) clamp on the engine block or frame of the disabled vehicle first.
Allow the engine on the disabled car to run until the engine come to full operating temperature before driving and continue to run until you reach your final destination, because stopping the engine might require another jump start. As soon as possible and at room temperature, fully recharge the dead battery with an external car battery charger. Most modern cars with computerized management systems for the engine will order up more gas in the combustion camber to compensate. These changes make gas work better in the winter and at colder temperatures but it unfortunately also decrease MPG’s. I definitely notice less gas mileage during the winter months and I just kept blaming it on the tire inflation. It means that your engine will develop the same power output at a lower throttle setting, using less fuel to do so. They obviously generate more waste heat than is necessary to maintain an optimal CHT, hence the need for water pumps, radiators, oil coolers, etc.
That combined with all the other factors listed averages to a 22% loss in fuel inefficiency. A much better option to idling is driving while keeping revs below 2500 RPM for the first 5 minutes.
While it’s an equal pain to scrape ice from any kind of car, once a combustion engine is running it soon warms up.
The cold cranking amps (CCA) rating for the battery – the number of amps it can provide at 0°F when new – should be listed on the battery's label, and the number of amps required to start the car should be in the owner's manual. Since they're not (and since weather reports say it's actually +25°F in Connecticut) I think there's probably something wrong with the batteries and you should take wotsac's advice and call your dealer about it.
If you mistakenly set the interior light to stay on all the time or something like that, or if you have something plugged into the cigarette outlet like, I dunno, a laptop or a flashlight or hell let's say even a cell phone it might have drained the battery some overnight.
Given that we're talking about two identical nearly-new cars something like this would only be likely to happen if there was a manufacturing defect of some kind. In case of emergency you can try to jump start the auto battery with a car battery booster or with another car. The electrolyte in a dead lead-acid car battery will freeze at approximately 20°F (-6.7°C). This arrangement is used because some sparking will occur and you want to keep sparks as far away from the battery as practical in order to prevent a battery explosion. Also, keep all unnecessary electrical accessories off to relieve the load on the charging system and allow it to add charge to the battery. So if your tires are under inflated by just 3 psi your car would go from getting 22 mpg to 21.7 mpg. A vehicle’s aerodynamic drag is proportional to air density, and the density increases as temperature drops.
So actually, it means that you burn fewer gallons of gas to create the same amount of power in Winter. If you are starting at a lower temperature you must then use more energy to reach optimal engine temps of 150°-195°. So that means when it is cooler outside, the engine has to expend less energy running a water pump, the electric fan, etc.
If you have research or studies that refutes that automobile get lower fuel economy at lower temperatures I’m willing to listen.
Electric cars, by contrast, won’t warm up at all unless you switch on a heater, which immediately begins to rob the battery of range. The snag is that this style of heating saps lots of energy from the battery, reducing the amount available for driving. If it's only a little bit below zero fahrenheit, and you're using the stock battery and haven't abused it by running it dead and leaving it that way, then the battery ought to be providing pretty close to its CCA rating. The cars are under warranty, and the batteries probably are too – they should replace your batteries at no charge, ideally with a different model.
After you've driven for a while and the cars have warmed up, the batteries should work until they cool down again. What you could do is put an old electric blanket over the engine bay and wrap it around the battery as best you can, or you could remove the battery from the car and bring it indoors for a couple of hours to warm up to room temperature, or you could pour some hot – not boiling! Maybe not enough to cause problems in normal weather, but maybe enough to prevent the battery from providing its full CCA under unusually-cold conditions. If you get your batteries replaced and you continue to see problems like this in the future, take the cars back to the dealer and ask to have them checked for this sort of thing. Basically you just disconnect the battery (this may put your radio into anti-theft mode, so you may have to enter a code or something which should have been given to you when you bought the car) and get in there with a small wire brush or old toothbrush and some baking soda paste, cleaning both the battery terminals and the connectors.
I got a new battery and this winter I've forgotten to plug in a few times was able to start my ancient Tercel even at -27C (ambient, I don't even want to think what the windchill temp was that morning).
But remember that if done incorrectly, jumping a dead car battery can be dangerous and financially risky. Since last year when I got a new car which now keeps track of it for me right in the on-board computer.

Cars also will idle at higher RPM’s to warm the engine up faster in cold temperatures versus warm, which also uses more gas. Plus if you have automatic AWD or 4×4  and it kicks in while on slick roads you are using more gas. Most of my information was pulled from engine manufactures and automobile companies and oil companies websites.
Please point out specific reasons or references that dispute these facts and I will correct accordingly. So the electric car driver may sometimes have to make an unpleasant decision between keeping warm and getting safely to their destination.
In a Nissan Leaf, for example, the range can drop by a third if you keep the fan heater on full blast.
Also, keep in mind once your car is jumped you're going to need to drive it around for a bit to keep it charged. Honda should have specced a battery for the car that is capable of starting it in all but the most extreme cold, and if the battery is only a year old it should still be providing close to its rated performance (again, unless it has been abused). Maybe this battery was even from a bad batch; perhaps they've even been recalled for exactly this problem. If you're worried about this happening again you can buy a portable jumpstarter kit like what katemcd mentioned, and keep it indoors where it's warm. You then rinse everything off with some water, dry it with a rag, and reconnect the battery.
Another problem is people will leave their cars running more to keep warm, thus burning more gas as well. Electric car manufacturers are tackling this dilemma in multiple ways, but it’s worth stopping to consider why they need to. To reduce this problem, many electric car makers provide preconditioning – the ability to heat (or in summer cool) the cabin while it’s still charging from the mains.
Typically they recommend 15 minutes, but I always did 30 but my car was entirely dead (no lights or anything).
In fact depending on your make and model of car your mileage could drop by as much as 20-28% from summer warmth to winter cold.
Conventional cars with combustion engines are not especially good at turning fuel into motion.
You set preheating using a timer, or even control it via a smartphone, letting you arrive to a warm car with a full battery. Though I don’t know a single person who has one, so those people are in the minority.
Even in a modern car, as much as two thirds of the energy from the fuel is lost as waste heat. You’ll still need to spend battery reserves staying warm on your journey, but at least you’ll get off to a good start.
Most heat exits through the exhaust pipe, and the rest goes via the car’s radiator, without which the engine would overheat. Renault, meanwhile, has come up with a way to eke more heat out of the battery’s power, by giving its Zoe ZE electric car a heater that can blow three times as much energy into the cabin as it takes from the battery. A small proportion of this byproduct heat is sufficient to keep the cabin toasty – there’s a second, smaller radiator built into the dashboard, plumbed into the engine’s coolant, that provides plenty of heat on demand.
That means the car might lose only about an eighth or a tenth of its range to heating, rather than a third. Electric motors, by contrast, are highly efficient and produce very little heat – not nearly enough to rely on in cold weather. It sounds impossible to give more energy than you take from the battery, but Renault hasn’t broken any laws of physics.
The French firm has simply employed a machine called a heat pump, which uses a small amount of energy to carry warmth from one place to another.
Household refrigerators work by pumping heat from their insides out into the kitchen – that’s why they have arrays of black metal fins at the back, to radiate away the warmth they’ve taken from your milk, eggs and cheese.
Just like a fridge, a heat pump can keep moving warmth from a place that already feels warm to another place that already feels cold.
So even if it’s a chilly day, Renault’s Zoe can still borrow some of the energy from the air outside to warm up its cabin. And because it’s pumping warmth from one place to another, rather than making heat from scratch, it needs much less energy from the battery. The drawback with heat pumps is that they are relatively complex and costly compared to a hairdryer-style heater. But fortunately, if your electric car has air-conditioning, the expensive bits and pieces are already there.
An air-conditioner and a heat pump are essentially the same thing, they just move heat in opposite directions.
In the future, high-power chargers and bigger batteries may sweep away any worries about keeping an electric car warm.
But for now, engineers will continue to work on better ways to keep your toes warm while still getting you all the way to your destination.

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