The best way to warm up your vehicle is to drive it

64439H(NC)—Many Canadians have come to believe that the best way to warm up a cold vehicle is to let it run.  After all, it seems logical to us northern brave hearts that if everything outside the vehicle is frozen solid, everything inside the car will be petrified as well.  The longer we let the car run, the faster it will warm up, right?  Not so.

Contrary to popular belief, excessive idling is not the best way to warm up your vehicle in cold weather; driving it is.

Consider these facts recently presented by Natural Resources Canada in its new publication Lean and Clean: Best Practices for Fuel-Efficient Driving:

• Some drivers let their vehicle run for six to eight minutes or more to warm up the inside of the vehicle.  Letting a vehicle warm up for that long only warms the engine.  It does nothing for the wheel bearings, steering, suspension, transmission and tires.  These parts can only be warmed up by driving the vehicle, which in turn, allows the ventilation system to heat the inside of the vehicle;

• By using a block heater for just a couple of hours on a timer, your vehicle will reach its optimal operating temperature faster;

• The faster your vehicle reaches that temperature, the more efficiently it will run;

• The average vehicle with a three-litre engine wastes 300 millilitres – more than one cup – of fuel for every 10 minutes of idling;

You can find more helpful tips for fuel-efficient driving on the NRCan website at

Written by Canadian Home Trends

Canadian Home Trends

Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You’ll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you’ve always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada’s best places to shop.

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