Dealing with Cold Mornings and Starting Your Vehicle

Minit-Tune & Brake| Sunday, September 20, 2015

Most drivers are under the impression that a vehicle must be warmed up and sit idle for several minutes before it can be driven on cold mornings. After all, this has been a common practice for years. If you warm up your vehicle in the morning, it may be because you assume you will get better mileage or that you will be able to avoid some unspecified damage.

In reality, there is no need to leave your vehicle idling. Doing so wastes fuel and increases pollution.

Facts and Tips for Warming Up Your Vehicle

The idling question is a common one that repair shops receive in the winter. To help put those questions to rest, here are a few facts and tips about idling your vehicle:

  • Driving Will Warm Your Car Faster - Instead of leaving your car idling for 20 to 30 minutes, drive the vehicle. This warms up the vehicle more efficiently and there is no idling necessary.
  • Five Kilometres is All You Need - For the first five kilometres of your trip, avoid high speeds or sudden bursts of acceleration. After that, your vehicle should be properly warmed up.
  • Idling Hurts Your Vehicle - By idling your vehicle, you are forcing the engine to operate in a fuel-rich, inefficient mode. Over time, this could degrade your vehicle’s engine performance and even reduce how many kilometres you are able to drive per litre.
  • Idling Costs You More Money - Daily idling wastes fuel quickly, which means you are increasing how often you need to fill up your vehicle and the money you spend each month on fuel.
  • Idling is Bad for Your Health - Exhaust fumes and fuel emissions are hazardous to human health; they have been linked to air pollution, and consequently, allergies, and respiratory disorders such as asthma. Leaving your vehicle to idle by your garage or near an open door allows those toxic fumes to enter your home. Allowing a vehicle to idle along sidewalks means pedestrians will inhale those toxic fumes as well while they walk by.
  • Maintaining Your Vehicle Properly is More Beneficial - To ensure your vehicle starts and drives efficiently in the winter, get regular oil changes in Salmon Arm at your local Minit-Tune Brake & Auto Centre. During your oil change, a technician will verify that there are no issues with your car’s efficiency or engine performance.

Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres offers routine maintenance and auto repair in Salmon Arm to residents year-round. Our certified technicians are here to help your vehicle stay in top form, start up easily on those cold winter mornings and maximize fuel economy. Schedule your appointment by calling our Salmon Arm location at 778-489-5333 or visit one of our other convenient locations throughout Canada.

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