Why Idling Your Car Engine For Winter Driving Might Not Be The Best Idea

You might have been taught by your parents that it’s a good idea to warm up your car a few minutes before driving on a cold morning. “It will help heat and preserve the engine.” Or so you were told. But it turns out that this old truism no longer applies and it is actually better for you to warm your car by driving it rather than to let it idle.

That’s because cars built back in the 80s and early 90s had carburetors that needed to be warmed up. Modern-day fuel injection technology, advanced computer systems that read the outside temperature and thinner synthetic oils means that your engine gets lubricated much quicker.

It seems you really only need to turn on the engine for a minute and drive.

That knowledge doesn’t seem to have reached consumers yet. According to WCOP, the Washington Post reported a 2009 study which found a majority of Americans thought they should idle their vehicle for, on average, more than five minutes before driving when temperatures dipped below 32 degrees!

Of course, some people might need to heat the car longer to defrost windows (here’s a handy tip on keeping car windows for fogging up, but it’s good to know you can save gas, save time and spew less pollution without damaging your car’s engine!

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