What Impact Does Weather Have on a Car’s Fuel Economy?

Can Bad Weather Make Vehicles Less Efficient?

By Product Expert | Posted in Tips and tricks on Friday, May 29th, 2020 at 12:07 PM
A lightning storm

What Impact Does Weather Have on a Car’s Fuel Economy?

There are many elements that can determine a vehicle’s efficiency, including environmental factors. What impact does weather have on a car’s fuel economy? What other external forces can make a vehicle less efficient? We’ve answered these questions and more down below.


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While environmental factors can have a negative effect on a vehicle’s fuel efficiency, weather is less important than factors such as climate, air density and temperature. Heavy rain and snow can result in poor driving conditions but have a negligible impact on mileage. Snowy weather is the most notable example of efficiency-reducing weather because vehicles burn more fuel than usual when driving on ice and snow.

Although snow can result in decreased fuel efficiency, the cold temperatures and denser air that comes with it have an even greater impact. Colder temperatures result in a decrease in tire pressure, additional fuel usage via the heating system, increased aerodynamic drag and worse battery performance, all of which result in wasted fuel.

A road in the rain

What Other Factors Can Negatively Impact a Vehicle’s Fuel Economy?


Although environmental factors can negatively impact fuel economy, major efficiency issues tend to be the result of an internal issue. Common causes of poor fuel economy include:

  • Driving with Heavy Cargo
  • Non-aerodynamic External Attachments
  • Low Tire Pressure
  • Driving with a Misfiring Engine
  • Faulty Spark Plugs
  • Faulty fuel injectors

Experiencing fuel economy issues with your vehicle? Take your vehicle in for automotive service at Matt Castrucci Nissan in Dayton, OH. To schedule a service appointment, call us over the phone at 855-299-1946 or by using our online scheduling tool, found right here on our website. Automotive services available at Matt Castrucci Nissan include tire balancing and rotation, battery inspection, automotive glass repair and replacement, oil changing and more.

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