If you live in a place where winters are cold and snowy, you know the morning ritual very well: run outside quickly to start your frozen car, let it roll down the driveway until it’s warm enough to tolerate coming in, and try to scrape the snow, slush and ice off your windows and windshield. Ah, the joys! However, you may be surprised to learn that we should not let our cars roll in the driveway to keep warm in the winter for several reasons
The first reason is that leaving the car running is, not surprisingly, bad for the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Unnecessary idling of school cars, trucks and buses pollutes the air, wastes fuel and causes excessive engine wear. With modern vehicles, it is not necessary to start the engine before being ready to drive.
According to Popular Mechanics, an auto mechanic, leaving your car running while parked can shorten engine life because it removes oil from the cylinders and pistons. While many of us feel that idling the engine is the fastest way to warm up the engine and therefore warm up the vehicle, driving is actually the fastest way to warm up the engine.
In vehicles built before the late 1980s, it was recommended that the engine be kept at idle for a few minutes before driving to ensure that the engine received the proper amount of air and fuel. However, with the advent of electronic fuel injection in the mid-1990s, this practice was no longer necessary. But that would explain why, all these years later, people still think they should leave their cars running in winter before driving.
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