Improve Your MPGs on the way to the Slopes

Want to make your ride to the mountain more environmentally friendly?

Consider these tips:

1) Carpool!

Here’s an obvious one. Grab a few of your friends, or sign up for a local online rideshare board and fill as many seats as you can in your car. This is not only more fun, but you can also split gas money and each one of you is contributing that much less pollution to the environment than if you had each driven up alone.

2) Drive at non-peak times

Idling in traffic is incredibly inefficient, and if you live along a popular ski corridor, you know to expect a whole lot of traffic at around 7am on a winter Saturday.  Head up the night before when the traffic is lighter. You’ll use less gas and be less frustrated.  And if you do find yourself in a terrible traffic jam, consider pulling off and parking somewhere for a while until it clears rather than inching forward for hours on the freeway.

3) Reconsider the car you’re driving

This is important for both fuel efficiency and safety. If your route to the mountains involves any snowy passes or icy roads, it’s probably not the best place for your 1960s VW Beetle, no matter how cute it looks with the little roof rack. Driving a car with insufficient traction is dangerous to yourself and others.  Older cars are also less efficient than their newer counterparts by a significant margin. If you drive a particularly old, small, or gas-guzzly car, you might consider replacing it with a newer more efficient model.

4) Check tire pressure regularly

Underinflated tires decrease your fuel efficiency.  In the winter, when it’s cold out, air contracts reducing tire pressure, so it’s even more important to check it regularly.

5) Park in warm places

Keeping your car in the garage the night before your day at the mountain is a good idea for fuel efficiency and many ski resorts offer indoor, or at least covered parking which may be worth the extra cost.

6) Store your ski/snowboard differently

Ski racks add significant drag to your car and can reduce your MPG more than you would think.  If you can safely secure your skis inside the car, that would be the best option. Some roof boxes and back-of-the-car racks also claim to be more efficient than a regular roof rack. Some ski mountains and ski shops have lockers so you can store your skis close to the mountain in between trips.

7) Avoid using warmers, defroster and other electronics more than necessary

Anything additional your car is doing beyond driving impacts your gas mileage, so avoid excessive use of chargers, warmers, and anything else in your car that’s electric. Probably still worth it run the radio and radiator, though!