Saving Gas During Colder Months: Don’t Preheat Your Car

When temperatures drop, it might seem ideal to start your car and let it run until the heater kicks in so your hands don’t freeze to the steering wheel. However, this can be a very wasteful practice. For every hour the car idles, it can use anywhere from a quarter to half a gallon of gasoline, according to the Department of Energy.

If you let the car warm up for 10 minutes every day before you leave for work, you could have wasted as much as 2 1/2 gallons of gasoline – and that doesn’t even take into account other times you might warm up the car. Basically, it can add up quickly. Not only does this mean you’re going to be spending more at the pump, but you’re also releasing more emissions into the atmosphere, which works against other efforts you and your family might be making to go green. 

Some people may believe it is necessary to let the engine warm up before driving, but this is a myth. An engine will run better when the temperature is higher, but the fastest way to heat up the engine is to put it to work. Think of it this way, do you get warmer faster by standing in one spot or by moving around? The same holds true for your car. 

Sure, letting the interior of the car heat up can make it easier to melt the ice on your windshield, which is better than using all your energy to scrape it off by hand. However, there are other options to make this process easier. There are many de-icing solutions available that you can spray on your windshield, but you can also mix a solution using equal parts water and ethyl alcohol or vinegar. This will help to melt the ice and make it easier to clear the glass.

If you’re looking for a car this winter, consider checking out the options at NJ State Auto Auction. The dealer has a wide selection of makes and models, and every vehicle is CARFAX certified.