It happened. For the first time in what seems like forever, there was ice on the windshield of my car this morning. It’s hard to believe it got cold enough last night, but it did. I had to go inside and find my ice scraper and actually scrape the ice off the windshield! If this hasn’t happened to you yet or you are one of the lucky people that park in a garage, good for you! But I bet it was still a bit chilly getting in the car for your commute this morning.
Since it is that time of year I thought I would share the best kept secret about how to warm up your car in the morning. Have any guesses?
- A remote starter so that you can turn on your car while still staying warm inside, drinking your coffee and wearing your bunny slippers? Nope.
- Bribe one of the kids (who is old enough) to run outside and turn the car on? Not that either.
The secret is: Scrape the ice off the windows (so you can see clearly) and DRIVE OFF! That’s it. Not difficult at all. Cars warm up much faster when they are being used. If the engine is left to idle, it will eventually get warm enough to turn on the heat and not feel cold air blowing on you; but it will get warm MUCH faster when you are driving.
Driving – not idling the vehicle – helps your toes get warm faster and decreases the shock at the gas pump. Idling a car for one hour can use about a gallon of gas. That means if you idle your car for about 15 minutes five days a week, you are wasting $4+ in gas EVERY WEEK at zero miles to the gallon.
That same gallon of gas that you idled away in a week of cold mornings also contributed 19.4 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air for your family and friends to breathe and increases asthma symptoms. Idling is bad for your pocketbook and bad for your health.
So tomorrow, and the next chilly morning after that, make sure you remember the best kept secret about how to warm up your car: Scrape the ice off the windows (so you can see clearly) and DRIVE OFF!