No one likes to spend more time than necessary sitting still in a cold car, but with the onset of winter, vehicle owners need to ensure that the car is properly warmed up before driving off. Some people take this to an extreme and can sit in the car idling for up to 10 minutes, while others immediately shift into gear after starting and start driving. However, these are wrong decisions, writes SlashGear.
Mechanic of the Consumer Reports organization, which has been involved in car assembly for 85 years, John Ibbotson says it’s best to let the engine run for 60 seconds in cold weather before shifting into gear.
According to the American Automobile Association, it doesn’t even take that much time: after turning the key, all you need is the time it takes to fasten your seat belts. The engine can effectively warm up while driving at normal speed.
And why should you avoid starting too slowly? Well, in addition to wasting fuel, idling is more taxing on the engine than switching on and off. When a car is idling, it can use up to half to three quarters of a liter of fuel in an hour, which can mean additional costs of thousands of forints annually.
In addition to increased costs, idling can also cause serious environmental damage. The US Department of Energy estimates that the annual waste of about 22 billion liters of fuel from idling results in more than 58 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.