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Winter weather Baden-Württemberg - Stuttgart

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As freezing temperatures grip various parts of the U.S., the age-old practice of letting your car warm up before driving is being challenged. What was once considered common wisdom may actually be a myth, according to insights from the American Automobile Association (AAA).

Many drivers believe that letting their cars idle for a few minutes before hitting the road improves performance, especially in harsh winter conditions. The idea is that a warmed-up engine operates better and provides a more comfortable experience for the driver in cold weather.

Winter weather North Rhine-Westphalia - Ittenbach

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Contrary to popular belief, AAA recommends a different approach. The association suggests that drivers should only let their engines idle for the time it takes to fasten their seat belts. The rationale behind this advice lies in the way oil circulates through the engine.

According to AAA, driving the car normally and avoiding hard acceleration actually brings the engine to a warmer temperature faster. This not only enhances performance but also reduces wear and exhaust emissions. In essence, actively driving your car is a more effective way to warm up the engine compared to idling.

While AAA advocates against unnecessary idling, it acknowledges that letting the car idle for a bit longer is acceptable, especially in situations where snow needs to be cleared from the vehicle. This exception ensures that drivers can still enjoy a warmer interior while maintaining efficiency.

Winter weather in Bavaria - Straubing

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As winter continues to bring freezing temperatures to various regions, it’s essential for drivers to question long-standing practices. AAA’s recommendation challenges the conventional wisdom surrounding warming up your car and encourages a more active approach to driving for optimal engine performance. So, the next time you contemplate letting your car idle in the cold, consider AAA’s advice and hit the road without delay.