Should I Let My Car Idle In The Winter?

October 26th, 2020 by

Is It Bad To Let Your Car Idle?

The time has come! The cold weather is here, and there is plenty of holiday joy in the air. With the holiday season comes a lot of traveling, and that means that your car is in for a lot of work. While each car can prepare themselves for the winter, drivers often try to prepare themselves and their car for the cold by idling to “warm-up” their car. But should you let your car warm up before heading out to Peoria? What many don’t know, is that modern cars are ready to drive in cold temperatures within seconds. The only engines that need to be “warmed up” are carbureted engines, which haven’t been made in the last 30 years, and certainly aren’t part of our line of up new models. But is it bad for your car to idle?

How Long Can You Idle A Car?

“Unless you are trying to defrost the windshield or warm the interior of your car, idling is not required for today’s vehicles,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “In most cases, idling longer than 30 seconds is unnecessary. The best way to warm up your car’s engine is to drive gently at the start. Remember, a vehicle gets zero miles per gallon when idling and the result is lower fuel economy and wasted money.” So while it’s not exactly bad to let your car idle, at least mechanically, it can waste fuel and lower your fuel efficiency as a result.

Should You Let Your Car Warm Up?

With that being said, Morton drivers shouldn’t hop in their car and slam on the gas pedal. It takes about five to 15 minutes for your engine to warm up, so motorists should take it easy when they are first starting their drive. However, how long you can idle a car doesn’t actually influence this time that much, and instead, you should focus on driving to gradually warm your vehicle up. Not only is idling for a long period of time bad for the efficiency of the vehicle, but it is also bad for the environment.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “When a car idles for more than 30 seconds, it has several negative effects, such as increasing air pollution unnecessarily, wasting fuel and money, and causing excessive wear or even damaging a car’s engine components, including cylinders, spark plugs, and the exhaust system. Contrary to popular belief, idling isn’t an effective way to warm up most car engines.”

So at the end of the day, is it bad to let your car idle? Not exactly for the engine, but it actually does very little to benefit your vehicle. In order to keep the engine and environment healthy and clean, it is advised to simply start the car, clean off the windshield, and get going. Simply clean the windshield, bundle up, crank the heat, and hit the road to Bloomington!

If you have any questions, you can always contact us today to talk to our service department, or if you’re wanting to make sure your vehicle is winter-ready, you can schedule service today.


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