A lot of people are easily worried about a lot of things about their car. One good example is with the car heater. They often approach us and ask, “Does your car heater waste gas?” This is not a silly question. As a matter of fact, a lot of car owners are really worried about wasting precious gas during winter.
To better answer the question, let’s try to understand first how the car heater works. We’ll explain the process for you to better understand how car heating works and whether or not you are wasting your gas when you are turning it on.
How Does the Car Heater Work?
When you have been using your car for some time, the engine heats up. In order to ensure that the engine does not overheat, water or coolant is circulated to take the heat from the engine into your radiator. Inside the radiator, heat is dumped to the outside air as the coolant cools down and makes another trip to the engine. This is how the engine cools itself off.
But when you turn on your car heater, the process changes a little bit. Instead of just dumping the excess heat to the outside air – coolant (which still carries the heat from the engine) goes into a small radiator located somewhere in your dashboard. A fan then turns on to direct the warm air from the radiator to the inside of your car.
So Does Your Car Heater Waste Gas?
It uses gas in the sense that it turns on a fan to direct the warm air inside the cabin of your car but the consumption is negligible at most. The heat being used is there for free and it’s only a matter of taking it from the engine into the cabin. As a matter of fact, one way to prevent overheating in the summer is to turn on the heater of your car. This helps the engine cool down by taking the water or coolant into another radiator where it can release its heat.
So, by all means, use your car heater when you feel like it. Unlike your A/C which can really affect your fuel consumption, a car heater has negligible effect ON your mileage.
How to Improve Fuel Consumption – The Basics
You might be a bit disappointed now knowing that turning off the car heater won’t affect your fuel consumption. However, we’d like to help you out by listing the best ways for you to save fuel that does not involve turning off the car heater.
- Turn off the A/C – Your A/C eats up a lot of fuel so you might want to step back from using them unnecessarily. Try driving with the windows down especially when the air is fresh.
- Drive smoothly – Sudden accelerations and “revving” your engine can affect your car’s fuel consumption. Pay attention to the road and drive smoothly as much as possible to increase mileage.
- Take a load off – Take off excess weight from your car. A heavy car consumes more fuel than a lighter one so take time to declutter your car or remove heavy items from the trunk. Remember to only carry the essentials as much as possible. Not using your roof rack? Remove it for now as the excess weight and drag it causes your car to eat up more fuel.
- Check the tires – Underinflated tires can cause your car to use more power to move. So if you are going on a long trip, make sure your tire pressure is correct to get more miles.
There are a lot of ways to increase your mileage but turning off your car heater is definitely not one. During winter, your car heater can be a lifesaver so it’s not advisable to skimp out on the heating just because you want to save on fuel. Have your car heater checked today with T3 Atlanta. Winter is just around the corner so you better make sure your car heater is in tip-top shape. Contact us today and let’s make sure you have a safe and comfortable ride.