Idling in winter: a harmful habit

In winter, many drivers let their gasoline engine vehicles idle for several minutes before setting off. Keep reading to find out why you should avoid this habit.

A false belief

When it’s cold outside, many drivers believe they must warm up their car’s engine to prevent premature damage or wear to mechanical parts. This isn’t true, at least not for vehicles manufactured after 1980 with a fuel injection system. According to experts, an engine is perfectly lubricated and reaches full operating temperature within 30 seconds. Plus, your car warms up faster when you drive.

A lot of waste

Idling wastes a lot of gas because your car isn’t moving! On average, a standard-sized vehicle with a three-litre engine uses about 300 millilitres of gas every 10 minutes of idling. Over time, that’s a lot of money down the drain. Plus, idling is bad for the environment!

According to Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency, if Canadian drivers of light-duty vehicles avoided unnecessary idling for just three minutes a day, they could collectively save 630 million litres of fuel while reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 1.4 million tonnes a year!

Tolerated exceptions

During winter, it’s OK to idle your engine for a few minutes to de-ice your windshield or if the temperature is extremely cold (-40 C) and the engine oil is thick.

Protecting the environment is important! Keep your vehicle in good condition in winter and summer by visiting M 360 Mechanic today.

Tags of the article

Previous article