customer service
contact our service experts
Service & Support via WhatsApp
professional counseling
1 month right of withdrawal
Fast delivery via DHL & DPD
Free shipping in DE from 80€
My account
Wish list

product comparison

Deposit - {[ basketItem.itemTitle ]}
Quantity: {[ basketItem.quantity ]}
{[ formatPrice(basketItem.price * basketItem.quantity, basket.currency) ]} ({[ formatPrice(basketItem.price, basket.currency) ]})
{[ formatPrice(basket.costOfGoods, basket.currency) ]}
no articles in the shopping cart

How can you save fuel in winter?

In the cold season the car consumes on average significantly more fuel than in summer. There are several reasons for this. The most important ones are described in more detail below. We also give tips on how you can still save fuel in winter.

Why does the fuel consumption of cars increase in winter?

Several reasons are responsible for the fact that fuel consumption increases in winter. The most important of these are:

  • Use of winter tyres
  • Longer cold running phase of the engine
  • More electrical consumers in use

1. Winter tyres
Winter tyres are usually made of a softer rubber compound and are inflated with a lower air pressure. This gives them a larger contact area on the road. In addition, the specific tread pattern ensures that the tyres adhere better to the road in snow and slippery conditions. As a result, the driver retains control of the car longer even in difficult weather and road conditions. The disadvantage, however, is the increased rolling resistance. This is one of the factors that increases fuel consumption in winter. To counteract this somewhat, the ADAC and some tyre manufacturers recommend increasing the air pressure by 0.2 bar. However, do not exceed the value so that enough adhesion remains. Because the more snow and ice there is on the roads, the more contact surface is needed for the tyres. As a further alternative to saving fuel, it is worth changing to energy-saving tyres. These can save up to 0.5l per 100 kilometres of fuel.

SUV on the road with winter tyres

2. Long warm-up phase from the engine
In cold temperatures, the engine takes longer to warm up. The reference value here is about 20km. Only then is it efficient and can deliver the best performance. In the warm-up phase, more fuel is consumed without delivering full power because the fuel is not completely burned. This not only increases the environmental impact, but also directly squanders fuel money. To counteract this, it is advisable to start the car as soon as possible after starting the engine. When idling, the engine doesn't get up to speed fast enough, so it is also strongly discouraged to run the engine while stationary in winter. Not to mention the fact that this is now also punishable by a fine. In addition, it makes sense to check the engine air filter and the spark plugs regularly. Clogged filters and old spark plugs also increase the fuel consumption of the car and not only in winter.

3. Many additional electrical consumers
The colder the temperatures, the more consumers are switched on in the car. This begins with the heating, continues through the ventilation and windshield wipers and extends to the fog lights. Then there is the running radio, seat heating, etc. All this additionally increases the fuel consumption of the car. The highest consumptions have all devices that have to do with heat. At the top are the following devices:

  • the windscreen heating with over 500 watts
  • the rear window heating (185 Watt)
  • the ventilation (171 Watt)
  • the seat heating (102 Watt)

The steering wheel heating (50 Watt) and the heated exterior mirrors (30-40 Watt) consume the least. The fog light (110 Watt) needs more power than the rear fog light (53 Watt). The windscreen wipers at the front (80-140 watts) and rear (30-55 watts) and the radio (20 watts) are among the least power-hungry. Per 100 watts there is 0.1l additional consumption per 100km. Therefore the rule in winter is: only switch on what is really needed and switch it off again as soon as possible when it is no longer needed! This means that the radio, as well as the seat heating and fog lights should remain switched off when starting, so that the engine can warm up faster.

View into the heated exterior mirror in winter

In addition, there are also two points which basically ensure increased fuel consumption, in winter as well as in summer:

4. Additional luggage on the car
In order to reduce fuel consumption even further, excess luggage should also be removed from and on the vehicle. This includes:

Above all everything that is on the vehicle, provides for an increased fuel consumption with the car, because this produces an increased air resistance. Roof boxes are the best example. At 130km/h they cause up to 2 litres more consumption per 100km. Therefore they should be removed as soon as they are no longer needed. But also the snow that lies on the vehicle causes additional weight. Therefore, according to the law, it must be completely removed from the car before driving off. In this way the aerodynamics of the vehicles are not affected and do not endanger other road users. The removal of snow also increases safety when driving, as the snow cover cannot slip from the roof onto the windscreen during braking. The weight in the car also determines how much fuel can be saved. Up to 0.3 litres more fuel is needed to carry 100kg on 100 kilometres.

5. Only carry out meaningful journeys
Since the engine takes longer to warm up in winter, short distances should be avoided or bundled as much as possible. Only after 20km distance the engine manages to reach the optimal operating temperature.

How can you save even more fuel in winter?

View of the on-board computer with fuel-saving driving

As in summer, the right driving style is important here. Early upshifting, fast acceleration and a constant speed at lower revs help to reduce the fuel consumption of the car. In the warm-up phase you should drive continuously in the medium speed range. Constant acceleration and deceleration or short-term revving up of the engine, on the other hand, reduce efficiency and thus help to save fuel less.

It is also recommended to use the engine brake when driving in a fuel tank. This means that it makes more sense to slow down at the red lights and slow down towards the intersection than to brake hard just before. The same applies when braking down at town entrances. In addition, the engine should not be running at idle speed. When waiting longer than 20 seconds, the engine should be switched off if it has warmed up. This is even mandatory at level crossings. Nowadays, automatic start-stop systems control this themselves. They also only switch off the engine when it is warm enough. The additional load on the starter and the battery is not worth mentioning.

Another point that applies all year round is open windows and sliding roofs. These only have a consumption advantage over air conditioning in city traffic. At higher speeds, they cause the air flow to stall, which also leads to increased fuel consumption of the car. If you still want to open the window a little at higher speeds, you can use wind deflectors. These prevent the airflow from being stalled as much.

What has to be considered for longer trips in winter as well as in summer?

In addition to the tips for less fuel consumption when driving a car and driving with fuel, it is also very important to always drive with sufficient fuel in the tank. This way you are better prepared for possible traffic jams or emergency situations. If you follow the tips, you can noticeably reduce your fuel consumption in winter. In addition, there are trainings and courses that teach how to adapt your driving style to save fuel. For example, the ADAC offers so-called fuel-saving training courses. Here the personal driving style is recorded and documented by two drives. This is followed by an individual evaluation in which possible savings potential is discussed. We wish you a good and fuel-saving journey.