The most effective way to warm up your car is to drive it. Idling in your driveway will not warm up many of the components that cause you to use more fuel.
Wheel bearings, tires, suspension and driveline components only warm up when the vehicle is moving.
For normal winter driving, no more than 30 seconds of "warm-up" idling is necessary before you drive, just make sure you can see clearly through the windows and your view is not obstructed.
. Plug It In
- Engines experience maximum fuel use, emissions and engine wear when cold, so use a block heater with a timer to reduce warm-up time. Usually turning the block heater on for two hours prior to start-up is sufficient.
The heater warms the engine coolant, oil and engine block so that all fluids flow more easily. The engine is easier to start, warms up quicker and cold start wear is reduced.
. Clear Away Snow
- When snow is left covering your vehicle's air vents, moisture is drawn into the car making it take longer to defrost.
By clearing away all the snow from your car, you can get on the road sooner and clearly see where you are going.
. The Way You Drive Your Vehicle
- How fast and how aggressively you drive all have an impact on your fuel consumption.
Slow down, car pool, save up errands for a single trip, take ploughed motorways, inflate your tires properly - all these things will cut your fuel bill and reduce your emissions.
More tips are available online at ecoaction.gc.ca/vehicles.