Keep On Trucking Throughout Winter
Keep an eye on your fuel tank
Cold temperatures and poor weather conditions during the winter months can present a number of problems for drivers of a variety of different vehicles. For example, though an unusual occurrence, it is worth being aware that in very cold temperatures some diesel powered vehicles may experience problems when starting. This is due to the fact that diesel contains wax particles which can crystallise at low temperatures. A build up of these wax crystals can cause blockages, thereby limiting fuel supply. Whilst most fuels now contain specials additives to prevent this from happening, making sure your vehicle stays insulated, for example by storing it in a garage, can help ensure your vehicle stays protected.
It can also be important for drivers to ensure their fuel tanks remain full during winter to prevent the development of potential problems. As the amount of fuel in the fuel tank decreases condensation can form on the walls of the fuel tank, and in very cold temperatures this condensation may subsequently freeze; furthermore the condensation may also sink to the bottom of the fuel tank and over time this could lead to further problems such as rust.
Winter driving conditions can significantly reduce the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. There are a number of reasons for higher fuel consumption by vehicles during the winter, including increased use of headlights and windscreen wipers as well as the necessity of using heating when the temperature really starts to bite. Furthermore there are also other less obvious factors contributing to reduced fuel economy during winter. Indeed a major contributing factor is the fact that numerous key components of a vehicle, including the tyres, the engine, and the transmission, consume more energy at low temperatures, especially during start-up. This is due to the fact that more fuel is required to overcome increased friction in these components, caused by the fact that oil becomes more viscous (thicker) at lower temperatures. Interestingly vehicles use fuel most efficiently when performing at a certain optimum temperature, however during the winter it can take longer for vehicles to reach this optimum temperature for peak fuel efficiency.
It is worth noting that there are a number of steps that can be taken in order to increase fuel efficiency during the winter. For example storing your vehicle in a garage can help prevent key parts of your vehicle from becoming too cold, thereby reducing the amount of time required to warm up your vehicle.
It can also be a good idea to cover your vehicles windscreen on cold and frosty nights; this can help prevent a build-up of ice, thereby saving you time and helping you set off quicker. If you do however find yourself in the position of having to clear ice from your windshield then it is better to use tools such as an ice scraper to remove it, rather than leaving the engine running, in order to save fuel.
Furthermore it is important not to leave your vehicle idling too long in order to warm up the engine, indeed according to advice provided by the AA, your car will in fact warm up quicker when you are moving. It can also be a good idea to run a full heath check on your vehicle before the onset of winter to ensure the optimum safety of your vehicle. For example check that your tires and brakes are functioning properly and indeed are in good working order.
Here at Fueltek we have extensive experience of providing fuel management solutions for the commercial transport industry and can help you get the most out of your fuel this winter. For more information about our range of products and services please do not hesitate to contact us and one of our knowledgeable team will be happy to help you with your enquiries.