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Old 01-18-2013, 06:01 PM   #1
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air temperature and horsepower

On another forum on gas mileage a member stated he was getting worse gas mileage during the winter. An interesting response was that higher intake manifold temperatures allow an engine to burn fuel more efficiently therefore higher gas mileage.
My question is at what air temperature do our cars make the most horsepower? I was always under the impression hot air is more dense therefore not allowing engine to efficiently mix air and fuel. Would less dense cold air allow an engine to make the most horsepower? So do engines make the most horsepower in hot or cold air? Any technical response would ne appreciated.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:28 PM   #2
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Hot air is less dense, cold air is more dense as is compacted compared to expanding like hot air. In general, engines like cold dense air when they can match it with more fuel. I get the same mileage in either weather.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:44 PM   #3
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Hot air is less dense, cold air is more dense as is compacted compared to expanding like hot air. In general, engines like cold dense air when they can match it with more fuel. I get the same mileage in either weather.
Oops! I guess I got the dense part backwards. In colder weather my car feels like it has more get up and go as compared to a hot humid day. I realize humidity plays a part as to performance. Is this a good assumption?
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:29 PM   #4
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Worst MPG in winter mite be from letting your car warm up longer.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:27 PM   #5
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Oops! I guess I got the dense part backwards. In colder weather my car feels like it has more get up and go as compared to a hot humid day. I realize humidity plays a part as to performance. Is this a good assumption?
Yea that's a good assumption. When it's cold and I go WOT from a slow roll with the cold roads I really have to fight to keep it straight.

The warming up time kills the mpg too, I hit the remote start about 10 mins before leaving for work, and on the way to the parking lot after work. I've gotten to where I draft off bigger vehicles when I can and it helps a good bit.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:14 PM   #6
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You also have to look at winter and summer blends of gas.
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