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Old 03-21-2014, 10:49 AM   #1
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Mpg vs. Outside temp

Now I don't have any hard data but just watching my instant mpg screen (which is ALWAYS accurate within .5mpg)I notice much better mileage with air temps in the 70s than when it's 30... When its cold with cruise on 70mph I can't pull over 31. Same speed when its warm gets me 35...

It's the same drive and same station (shell 93 octane)

Thoughts?


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Old 03-21-2014, 11:07 AM   #2
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That's about right. A couple things work against you in the cold months. 1) winter vs summer fuel. Winter blend is more stable in cold weather, but also a bit less energy. Gasoline isn't quite as distinct as say diesel between summer and winter blends, but there is a bit of a difference. and 2) warm up times. just because your coolant temp gets to normal doesn't mean the rest of the engine is running at it's full soaked temp. Almost any engine uses significantly more fuel until it is fully warmed up, so even though you may do moderate driving, just the full warming up period will pull your overall average for the leg down quite a bit.

Another thing to keep in mind is as cars get more efficient, you will see bigger swings with that sort of stuff. Nothing is really different in that respect then other cars if you look at it percentage wise. Say for example that stuff makes a 10% difference in overall fuel economy. On a pickup or older car that maybe gets 20MPG average, means a 2mpg difference. Same percentage on a newer more efficient 40mpg car means a 4mpg difference. Your much more likely to notice 4MPG then 2MPG, but really the difference is the same.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:08 AM   #3
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I noticed the same thing. Best mileage I have gotten all winter is 34 doing 65. Over the summer I could get 38-39 at the same speed. I believe it's a mix of winter fuel + cold temps.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:14 AM   #4
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Cold air is very dense and the engine uses more fuel to compensate.

Hot air is less dense and the engine uses less fuel to compensate.

It's why on a very hot summer day, your car may feel like it has less power than usual.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:35 AM   #5
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This should be common knowledge for any car owner. This happens to all cars. Always has. I however see a much greater fluctuation. I haven't been able to hit 30mpg all winter, but once it hits about 60 I'm good for usually 40mpg+.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:45 PM   #6
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I know the fuel blend mixes it up but my explorer had no change based on temp. Summer blend was always 16.5-17.5 and winter was 14. It could be 15 degrees or 65 degrees on winter blend and hold consistent mpg. I knew performance was better in cold so I wasn't expecting that big of a dip I guess... This is my first efficient car

Just wanted to hear from other focus owner... Thanks guys...
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:06 PM   #7
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add aerodynamics and such to the fuel and engine temps.
cold air is dense, difficult to punch through going say, 50mph?
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:08 PM   #8
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Temperature does not affect aerodynamics.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac.mogul View Post
Temperature does not affect aerodynamics.
Actually drag does increase with air density.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac.mogul View Post
Temperature does not affect aerodynamics.
You said that "cold air is very dense" and that "hot air is less dense".
Do you understand the relationship between air density and drag?
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