To Idle or Not to Idle

Panelpic - To Idle or Not to Idle

One of the small things that have varied opinions. There was a time it was necessary, but like everything, technology changes processes for the better, the only real advantage to letting your car warm up nowadays is to let the air conditioning demist the windows, or keep your warm!

Car Care: Should You Idle Your Vehicle To Warm It Up

People will let their vehicles “warm up” before they take off in them. However, according to the Car Care Council (CCC), there’s no reason with today’s modern cars to be idled excessively for them to be driven in cold temperatures.

CCC Executive Director Rich White said unless a person is trying to defrost their windshield or warm the inside of their vehicle up, idling isn’t necessary.  No more than 30 seconds of idle time is necessary, he said. White continued by saying the best way to warm an engine is to gently drive it in the beginning. A vehicle will get zero miles a litre when it idles, which reduces its fuel economy and wastes money.

When Did Idling Come About

When cars were developed with carburetors, manufacturers suggest cars should be idled. However, today’s fuel-injection technology, thinner synthetic oils and complex computer systems, drivers really have no need to warm their vehicles up before they start driving.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said a car idling for over 30 seconds can have multiple negative effects:

  • A rise in unnecessary air pollution
  • Waste in money
  • Waste in fuel
  • Excessive wear and tear on engine parts – exhaust system, spark plugs and cylinder

Idling isn’t a very effective method for the majority of car engines.