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Should You Let Your Car Idle?

car idling
Photo by Matt Boitor on Unsplash

The blog this week is about whether it is a good idea to let your car sit in idle. Here at ACC UK Ltd Independent Volvo & Toyota Car Servicing, Repair and MOT Specialists based in the heart of Farnborough, Hampshire we are often asked by our customers whether it is ok to let their cars idle in order to warm it up on these cold mornings. Todays’ modern car is built in such a way that this is no longer necessary – read our top tips below. Read on to find out more:

The best way to warm your car up is to drive slowly and gently at the start of your journey. By sitting on the drive idling all you are doing is wasting money by using unnecessary fuel and reducing the fuel economy. Leaving your car Idling in a garage, even with the garage door open, is dangerous and exposes the driver to carbon monoxide. If the garage is attached to your house, those fumes can also enter your house. Leaving your car idling on the drive is also an invitation to the opportunist car thieves. You really are asking for trouble, and it is questionable as to whether your insurance company will cover you for this act of negligence and stupidity.

The idea of idling to warm up your car before starting your journey dates back to when cars were built with carburettors and chokes. How many of you remember driving a car with a manual choke?  Carburettors did need to warm up to work well. Without warming up, the carburettor would not necessarily be able to get the right mix of air and fuel in the engine and the car might stall. During the 1980’s and 1990’s electronic fuel injection was introduced, which uses sensors to supply fuel to the engine and get the right air and fuel mix. This makes the problem of warming up the car before driving irrelevant, because the sensors monitor and adjust to temperature.

When a car idles for more than 30 seconds, it has several negative effects, such as increasing air pollution, wasting fuel and wasting money. Cars that
are constantly left to idle cause excessive wear or even damage to a car’s engine components, including cylinders, spark plugs, and the exhaust system. So basically, in a nutshell – no do not leave your car to idle!

Happy Safe Motoring Folks!

Here at ACC UK Ltd, Winners of The Motor Trader Independent Garage of The Year 2015, 2019 & 2020,  The Inspire Customer Service Excellence 2016 Award, The Eagle Radio Customer Focus 2017 Business Award, The Workshop Magazine Workshop Manager of the Year 2017 Award, The LiveWire Excellence In Vehicle Servicing 2019 Award and The Aftermarket Excellence Award for Best Website 2019, The Eagle Radio Biz Award – Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 & the SME News Magazine Most Trusted Car Servicing Provider 2020, we pride ourselves on offering an outstanding customer experience for a fraction of the cost of a dealership. Give us a call and let us quote you for your next service or repair on your Volvo or Toyota. We service all areas around Farnborough, Fleet, Aldershot, Farnham, Guildford, Frimley, Camberley, Hook, Sandhurst, Crowthorne, Yateley, Hampshire and Surrey. We offer free collection and drop off services. We also have a fleet of courtesy cars to allow you to get on with your schedule whilst your Volvo or Toyota is with us. Happy Motoring from all at ACC UK Ltd – Independent Volvo & Toyota servicing, repair and MOT specialists based in the heart of Farnborough, Hampshire.