Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Rich White
Executive Director Car Care Council 

No need to idle

“Warming up” modern cars for 30 seconds uses more fuel than restarting engine


January 31, 2019

It is that time of the year when many motorists wonder if they need to let their vehicle “warm up” or idle before driving. In fact, today’s modern cars are ready to drive in cold temperatures without excessive idling. Unless trying to defrost the windshield or warm the interior of the car, idling longer than 30 seconds is unnecessary, even on the coldest days.

 The idea of idling before driving dates back to when cars were built with carburetors. With new fuel-injection technology, complex computer systems and thinner synthetic oils, drivers don’t need to warm up their cars. Excess...

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