Better Gas Mileage in the Summer: True or False?

image with text better gas mileage in the summer: true or false?

Have you ever heard the rumor that your car gets better gas mileage in the summer than in the winter? You may have noticed that you don’t need to fill up your car as often in June and July as you do in December and January. We’ll explain why this happens, and how you can keep getting good mileage all year!

Why does my car get better mileage in the summer?


Climate can be one of the most influential factors on your car. Summer means heat, and heat means air conditioning. When you have your air on full blast, it naturally uses your car’s fuel, but you actually burn more fuel when you run your heater in the winter. In the summer, you can supplement your air flow by opening in the window and letting air circulate. Cold weather requires long periods of running your heater so you can defrost your window and warm up your vehicle.

Weather conditions can also have an effect on your gas mileage. Roads are wet and slick in the winter, which decreases your vehicle’s driving efficiency. Any moment spent spinning wheels to get traction is a moment of fuel burned. Your car spends less precious fuel in the summer when roads are drier.

Tips for getting good gas mileage

Whether you’re embarking on an exciting road trip this summer or staying close to home, there are little things you can do to help your car be more fuel efficient. We suggest:

Get a Tune-Up

Your vehicle might be a member of the family, but it is also a highly-advanced machine that needs regular care. If you’re planning a trip this summer, make sure your air filter is clean, spark plugs are up-to-date, and tires are inflated. Neglecting these little things can really cut into your fuel efficiency.

Be a Diligent Driver

Pay attention to your surroundings and be mindful of other drivers. Aggressively accelerating and decelerating can cut burn as much as 30% more gasoline than if you’re alert and relaxed. It’s not a race!

Let the Air Chill

As we mentioned above, running your heater burns considerable fuel, but using your A/C in the hot summer months can be a drain as well. If possible, try to keep your windows open and your air conditioning off as much as possible. The exception to this rule is if you’re on the highway – we recommend you shut your windows and turn on your A/C if you’re traveling over 50 mph. Your car is more aerodynamic that way, and your fuel bill will thank you.

Contact the auto repair experts at Performance Auto for more information about keeping your car in the best shape this summer!

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