No Need to ‘Warm Up’ Cars Nowadays
Idling for 30 Seconds Uses More Fuel than Restarting Engine
Winter has come to the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. In some areas of the valley, drivers will find frost on the windshield in the mornings. If you’re one of the many drivers, who think it’s essential to turn on your car and let it sit for a bit before hitting the road, you could be doing more harm then good.
Today’s modern cars are ready to operate in cold temperatures without excessive idling, says the Car Care Council. 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.”
The idea of idling before driving is from the days of old when cars were built with carburetors. Vehicles made now have new fuel-injection technology, sophisticated computer systems, and thinner synthetic oils, drivers don’t need to warm up their vehicles before hitting the road.
Fun Fact: In the U.S., the 1990 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser and the Buick Estate Wagon were the last new vehicles to be sold to the general public that included carburetors, reports the New World Encyclopedia.
“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, even on the coldest days. 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.”
Cut idling out of your morning routine. Idling your engine could damage your engine’s pistons, decrease your car’s fuel efficiency, and hurt the environment. Do yourself, and your wallet, a favor this season and cut idling out of your morning routine. If you’re worried about engine performance this winter or perhaps your check engine light has already come on, it’s time to schedule an appointment at the Bill Luke Tempe Service Department. Our certified technicians are here to help your engine stay stronger, longer.
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