The Biggest Winter Energy Myth



In winter, your car needs a little time to warm up before you can drive it, and that’s why across the country people who live in cold and snowy places often fire up their engines long before they start driving. Those with remote starters might even start their car from the kitchen and finish brewing coffee before heading out the door. As it turns out, idling your car during the winter is just wrong. In fact, it’s the biggest winter energy myth. Most Americans believe they should start their car and let it idle for about 5 minutes before leaving when the temperature is below 32º. Older cars, which relied on carburetors, did need to warm up to work well, but the auto industry did away with carburetors in favor of electronic fuel injection in the 1990s. That made the problem of warming up the car before driving irrelevant, because the sensors monitor and adjust to temperature conditions. The truth of the matter is, your car only needs to idle for 30 seconds before being ready to drive.