Winter fuel Mileage much lower - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-04-2017, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Winter fuel Mileage much lower

Hi all,

Winter has come early to the PNW and I am noticing the need to heat the car a bunch more. This seems to have a very significant effect on my mileage (to the tune of around 10 mpg on average). I usually get around 49MPG over the course of one tank and now am hovering around 40mpg. Should it be this low it seems crazy...anybody else getting these results?

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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-04-2017, 07:24 PM
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While it hasn?t been that cold yet here in the northeast, I have noticed on the colder days the gas engine will kick in and mostly stay on for a while at the beginning of drives. I?d speculate that?s to warm it up to be able to get heat for the passenger cabin.

Do you tend to do short drives (10 min?). If so I could certainly see it having a meaningful impact. I?ll see how it goes in the northeast when the temps head down.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-05-2017, 03:34 PM
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In the winter the fuel is different. I believe they change blends around September or October. They do stuff to help with emissions which I believe lowers the amount of energy stored in the fuel. What is the Difference between Summer- and Winter-Blend Gasoline? | AAA NewsRoom

The cold also makes a difference. Your tire pressure will drop causing more contact with the road causing lower mileage. I think it is 1psi per 10 degree drop or something like that.

Materials also tend to contract as they get colder so things tighten up causing a little more friction.

Last edited by tbaleno; 11-05-2017 at 03:41 PM.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-05-2017, 03:46 PM
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More detail

The engine takes longer to warm up and stays in open loop longer as sensors such as the o2 sensors have to get up to temp. If you look at a temp gage in a car in the summer it is almost instantly at running temperature. If you look at it in the winter it can take a bit to get up to temperature. I don't have a lot of experience with the niro yet but I suspect all of this information holds true.

In my old honda civic hybrid I would go from 55mpg down to about 45mpg in the winter. I will have to see how the niro reacts.
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-05-2017, 03:48 PM
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Good point on the tire pressure. While it would not account for most of the difference, if the temp plunge left your tires low, it would help a little.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-05-2017, 05:18 PM
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Up in NW Washington, I noticed the drop. Was getting around 48 mpg. Today, at 31 degrees, it fell to 45. Hope I'm not getting off subject too far here (we are talking mileage, aren't we?) will I do much better on enthanol-free gas? I don't drive that much but on the Indian reservation (or should I be saying the Native American reservation) between home and town, for a few cents more, I can get ethanol-free gas in 87 (or, perhaps, 89 octane).
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-05-2017, 06:24 PM
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Yes, you would get better mileage with ethanol-free gas. I don't know how much though. Try it and report back.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-06-2017, 08:28 AM
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On my Prius (Last two) between the cold and snow tires I typically lost about 3-4 miles per gallon, the biggest hit was using the heat. My plug-in was wonderful if I could avoid the starting the engine and just using the heated seats.

I'm curious how the Niro does. I do love the heated seats already
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 04:40 PM
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I was regularly getting 54-55 MPG in my LX, until the latest colder snap the last 2 weeks with the weather in the 30-40's in Chicagoland. Now I am struggling to get 46MPG, more regulated to the 44-45 range. Maybe I will drive without any heat until it gets really cold and see if that affects anything.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 04:59 PM
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Guess I may have to rely on my heated seats and steering wheel this weekend. Supposed to be down into the 20's.
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