It’s no secret that driving in the winter comes with its complications. Icy roads, snow, flurries, darker days, cautious (and not cautious enough!) drivers, and holiday stress combine to produce an uncomfortable experience. On top of that, fuel economy worsens as the temperatures do.
There are a lot of reasons why fuel efficiency drops in winter but not every knows the ways to prevent it. While you won’t be able to recapture the fuel economy of summer in the snowy months, we have a few tips to help you get the most of a tank in your Alaska winter car rentals.
Fortunately, because you’re using Alaska winter car rentals, you won’t have to worry about the major work that goes into fuel economy, such as car maintenance, excess weight, and car quality. We’ve got that covered for you.
What you can do to contribute to those major aspects of fuel economy is pack light. When you’re driving around town or off on a day trip, pack as little into the car as possible. Now’s not the time to have extra, unneeded luggage in the trunk that hasn’t made it into the cabin yet. Unload hunting and fishing equipment, and holiday gifts the minute you’re done using them. The less weight in your Alaska winter car rentals, the less heavily your engine will have to work. Remove any skis or snowboards from the top of your car when not in use. Full roof racks reduce aerodynamics exponentially, therefore also reducing fuel economy.
Unlead your foot
Most drivers know that the faster you go, the more fuel you’re using. People who speed often have much lower fuel economies than those who maintain the speed limit. However, did you also realize that stomping your foot on the accelerator – regardless of you speed – will reduce your fuel economy?
The best way to accelerate is slow and steady. Gradually apply slight pressure to your pedal until your Alaska winter car rentals gets up to speed. This will have the added bonus of keeping you safe on icy roads and helping you avoid aggressive driving. Similarly, braking at a gradual pace will also help increase fuel economy. And after all, you may find you won’t have to brake as often when you can avoid collision and missed turns simply by going the speed limit.
Remember, though, that cruise control is not advised. While it certainly helps maintain a proper speed, cruise control will reduce your reaction time to unexpected obstacles on wintry roads.
Avoid unnecessary idling in your Alaska winter car rentals
This seems to be a “no-brainer” but you’d be surprised at how often unnecessary idling occurs when it may seem necessary. In the morning when you’re warming your car and using defrosters, you’re using unnecessary fuel. It may not be fun, but get out there with a scrape and brush to manually remove as much snow and ice as you are able. Do not have your Alaska winter car rentals on throughout this, as it will just waste fuel.
Want to avoid spending ten minutes scraping ice? Park your car facing east. We may not get much sun in the winter, but what we do get will help reduce the amount of snow and ice build up on your car. Of course, if possible, park your Alaska winter car rentals in a covered area to avoid the hassle all together.
Check tire pressure
While we’ll make sure your car is in tip-top shape when you pick it up, you’ll want to keep an eye on tire pressure throughout. Many gas stations have spots to fill the pressure for free. But if you’re renting your vehicle for an extended period, checking it every few days in the poor conditions is a good habit to get into as low temperatures contribute to pressure loss, which contributes to terrible fuel economy.
No one likes spending more than necessary. That’s why at Avis, we have the best deals on the best, most efficient Alaska winter car rentals. Reserve your vehicle today for a stress-free holiday season.