Drivers who warm their car up on a cold morning
Are you one of these people who goes outside on a cold morning, unlocks your car, starts it, and then leaves it running while you either scrape the frost off or, worse still, go back indoors to finish getting ready?
This REALLY grates with me. The main reason being that, when you start your car and leave it running, obviously the engine will be idling. Engines warm up quickly when they're working, not idling, so it will take longer to reach operating temperature than if you simply drive away.
Leaving it idling from cold also means that:
It's simple really. To preserve your car's health (and my future sanity) on these cold mornings, please de-ice the car first, then get in, start up and drive away!!!
- You'll be burning loads more fuel while the engine remains under the "cold start" condition, because it takes so long to reach operating temperature;
- Petrol and diesel fuels are expensive these days. So while your car sits there, burning your fuel for nothing, you're wasting a lot of money - especially because your car will burn more fuel from cold;
- Burning a richer fuel mixture for longer is worse for the environment. In modern cars, it means more CO2, and older, pre-catalyst cars will be spewing out plenty of nasty carbon monoxide;
- Running an engine rich for extended periods in petrol-engined cars will add lots of soot to the spark plugs, decreasing their performance and shortening their service life;
- Engine oil delivers its best protection when the engine is fully warm (and this is long after the coolant has reached operating temperature). Repeated lengthy idling from cold will eventually cause it to thicken into a sludge which can then block the oilways and starve internal components of lubrication;
- Your car is at risk from easy theft. While walking to work over the winter, I wondered past a tidy X-reg 328i coupe sat at fast idle on a driveway, with no-one around. If I really wanted that car, I would even have had time to put my seat belt on.