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Do you notice substantial mileage drop in cold weather - 2014 ECO Boost 2L

  • 10% drop

    Votes: 3 50.0%
  • Closer to 20% drop

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • Greater than 20% drop

    Votes: 2 33.3%
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Most over the long road traveling with our Escape (2014 2L AWD) is into the Great Plains states. F L A T lands.
Since owning my new 2014 I've noted that cold weather driving my long distance mileage drops from 27/28 MPG to 21/22 MPG when temps are below 40 degrees. My speed is generally within 5 MPH of the posted limit. Using 87 octane year round. The drop in mileage is always noticeable in cold weather. And yes below 20 degrees it drops off even more.
 

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2014 Ford Escape Titanium, 2.0L, Sync 2 MFT
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The first couple years of owning my 14, I would keep track of all fill ups. I stopped because I was sick of seeing the terrible mileage during the winter. When we have temps less than -20C, I was seeing mileage around 12 MPG in the city. This is compared to the mid to low 20’s mpg we usually get in the summer months.
 

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I've been tracking mileage going back to the 1970s.

I see a significant drop in mileage over the winter.

Will be easy to tabulate December - February and June - August mileage from when I picked up my Escape in May 2015. Be back with some numbers.
 

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Well, this certainly wasn't what I was expecting.

June - August: 11,598 miles / 497.448 gal. = 23.31 MPG

December - February: 17,775 miles / 746.172 gal. = 23.82 MPG.

Higher in the winter!

Let's examine what's going on.

1. Winter formula gas. That usually reduces mileage.

2. Winter wheels and tires compared to all-season Continental tires. That should reduce mileage in the winter.

Why am I driving more in the winter 3 months?

3. There are trips from MA to OBX in there, which I don't do in season. Long distance driving which greatly increased mileage. I also track my OBX trips. Let me subtract the MA-OBX trips from the winter data.

Looks like OBX trips, over 1,400 miles each, are skewing the data. Back in a bit ... again.
 

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December - February subtracting OBX trips: 7,614 miles / 361.135 gallons = 21.08 MPG.

9.6% lower in winter. As mentioned, I also run winter tires.
 

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Mileage can vary considerably with speed limits, lifestyle changes as well as temperature. In my case, before COVID lockdowns, my lifestyle and auto usage was unusually regular. 12 miles trip every morning, 40 and 50 mph roads, cruise control, 7 days a week to the mall for mall walking, 12 mile return. Fill-up every Saturday on a return trip from the mall at the same gas station and fuel type. A couple local trips each week for shopping and occasional longer trip to doctor/dentist. It's great to be retired!
I rarely use the AC, even during hot summer days, preferring, open windows and fresh air.
Summer maximum: 28 US mpg , temps around 80s-90s F
Winter Minimum: 22 US mpg, temps down to single digits (8-9 F)
~ 21% mileage loss in the winter.
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After COVID lockdowns, malls closed, etc, my fuel mileage became very irregular, mostly infrequent local trips, filing up about once a month instead of once a week.
I'm not showing it here, but at the end of March, this year, I made a drive to Chicago suburbs from western NJ. Route 80 all the way. I had very strong headwinds (30-40 mph and gusty), temp was high 20s to low 30s (F), and I average about 23-24 mpg, 65-70 mph highway. I was expecting to get about 30 mpg.
On the the return drive, multiple wind snow squalls from the north (from my left as I was driving east), and I averaged about 26-28 mpg, slowing to as little as 40-45 mph during the heaviest snow squalls (visibility zero! I never want to be in that situation again!).
That one outlier at 05/17/17 was a mix of 40, 50 and 65 mph roads. I just went cruising that day to see what max mileage I could expect from my 6 month old car. 31.0 mpg on a 270 mile drive.
The '17 has the newer 2.0L engine and twin scroll turbo charger.
EPA mileage ratings (City/Highway/Combined)
2014 2.0L AWD: 21/28/24
2017 2.0L AWD: 20/27/23
 
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Well, this certainly wasn't what I was expecting.



1. Winter formula gas. That usually reduces mileage.

2. Winter wheels and tires compared to all-season Continental tires. That should reduce mileage in the winter.
yes rolling resistance of winter tires is higher.

also air density is higher in winter.
aerodynamic drag equation
F=1/2 CρAv2
where rho is air density. drag is proportional to density

also P = nRT/V
pressure is proportional to temperature.

air density changes by about 5% every 30F. therefore aero drag changes by 5%.

so that'd account for a mpg or 2

also, higher density cold air means that the throttle has to open less to get the same air, thus increasing pumping losses which decreases efficiency.
 

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<<< physical-organic chemist. 😀

I look at my thesis now and think, "I actually did this?" 😀
 
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