Idle Wisely in Winter Weather

It’s chilly outside and the last thing you want to do is punish yourself by getting into a frosty vehicle, sitting on a cold seat and grabbing that frozen steering wheel. It’s tempting to let your car “warm up” for minutes that stretch from just a few to more than necessary.

Warming up a vehicle in the winter is one of the most common reasons given for idling. Yet needless idling pollutes the air we breath.  

Tips from Natural Resources Canada for keeping our air clean and healthy during cold weather:

  • Drive your vehicle to warm it up‚ rather than idling the engine. Usually no more than two to three minutes of idling is needed on cold winter days.
  • Use a block heater on cold winter days to warm the engine before you start it. Use an automatic timer to turn on the block heater two hours before you plan to start the vehicle.
  • Use remote car starters wisely to avoid excessively long warm ups.

Before heading out to your vehicle, dress warmly to reduce the discomfort of a cold car during long Canadian winters. Cover your head and neck, dress in layers and wear mitts. Start up your car and once you make sure your windows are clear, get driving.

In no time at all you’ll start feeling nice warm heat out of the vents and you can peel off those layers and breath freely knowing that idling less is helping keep the air clean and environment healthy.