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Forget Warming the car in Winter

Forget Warming the car in Winter Image

Drivers have many tricks for keeping their car safe including taking out extended warranty plans to ensure their vehicle is covered for damages.  One tip that is less sensible, ultimately unnecessary and even potentially dangerous, however, is the age-old practice (known as "idling" to some) of "warming up" a car before driving it in the winter months.  

Many drivers believe this is a way of protecting the car against some kind of damage, but in truth it is completely unnecessary.  For those who are warming the car less for protection for the vehicle and more for the sake of their own comfort, the fact is that simply driving the car will actually warm it up far faster than idling.  Good news for comfort-conscious drivers is that up-and-coming electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf are actually set to include a feature that will let a cell phone tell the car (if plugged into the grid) to pre-warm (or possibly even pre-cool in summer) the interior, thus removing the need for idling entirely.  

Far from protecting their car, drivers who warm it up first may actually be damaging it, with growing evidence that idling is such a gasoline intensive and inefficient operating mode that if done consistently over a long period of time, it can actually result in a degradation of the performance of the engine and even a reduction in the mileage it will be able to give.  

Exhaust fumes are also dangerous to human health, and "idling" has even been compared by some to second-hand smoking. 


published: 28/09/2011 11:00:01

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