Winter here in Lincoln, Illinois, is frigid! Every February, temperatures hit an average low of 20°F and even as low as 5°F! That may tempt you to warm up your car in the morning by letting the engine run for 10-15 minutes before you leave the comfort of your warm house, but letting your car idle for an extended period is actually very bad for it.
As J.D. Power points out, letting your car’s engine run for a minute or two to get lubricated with oil is enough to have it chugging along smoothly. You don’t need to take an extended length of time to prepare the engine to run.
But what if you want to let your car idle to warm up the cabin? Letting your car warm-up for a few minutes to get the heating system and defrosters working is fine, but it’s a waste to let your car run while parked for 15+ minutes. Why?
Your car will actually warm up faster when it’s in Drive instead of Park. The harder the engine works and the more you travel around, the quicker the frost will melt off the body.
Modern engines are made to be able to idle without problems for longer than older engines could, but there are still some drawbacks to letting your car’s engine run for an extended period without moving. Letting your car run for an unnecessarily long time will drain the battery and burn through gas — and you always want to make sure you have plenty of gasoline in the winter.
A far better solution to warm up your car in the winter is to invest in a Chevrolet or Buick model that has heated seats and a heated steering wheel. You can find them in stock here at Graue Inc.