As reported by a recent Washington Post article, idling your car during the winter to let it warm up prior to driving is not correct. In fact, the practice has a few major costs which include the waste of fuel, extra emissions, and other types of pollution.
While it is true that it may take longer for an engine to warm up and reach optimal driving temperature when it is cold outside, there is no actual benefit to idling a modern vehicle. According to a 2009 study, the majority of people surveyed believed they should idle their vehicle for about 5 minutes for weather under 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Authors of the study say,
These values indicate that beliefs about how much idling is appropriate or desirable are highly distorted.”
Automobile experts say cars need no longer than 30 seconds to warm prior to driving.
Read more here- “The Biggest Winter Energy Myth: That You Need to Idle Your Car Before Driving,” (Chris Mooney, The Washington Post)
Olivia is a graduate of Villanova University where she studied Economics and History, minoring in Gender and Women's Studies. She also has experience working with federal legislatures on health care policy, women's issues, and Internet safety.