Minneapolis — When temperatures drop below freezing, many people warm up their cars before driving. However, there are some things you should keep in mind for the safety of your car and yourself.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you shouldn’t idle for more than 30 seconds, but you should drive gently at first.
WCCO contacted several Twin Cities mechanics and they all recommended idling for a few minutes due to the current extreme cold in the state.
Jeff Rustad, owner of R & S Automotive in Little Canada, says he’s been busy with cold weather repairs lately.
“A lot of them have issues with getting cold, and we’re doing smart plug tune-ups for these,” said Rustad.
Rustad says an easy way to care for your engine in the cold is to use the frost plugs under the hood of most modern cars overnight, but not many people know about it. .
“It keeps all the coolant warm, but in retrospect, it keeps all the fluids, the oils, everything in the engine warm,” Rustad said.
The most common method is to let the car warm up for a few minutes at idle, but this is risky.
“If I am [my car]I idyll it, but I can’t do it where I live because I’m afraid someone will take it away.
Another Little Canada driver, Sonny Sibrandt, said:
Even if you’re not in the garage, you should think about where your car is before you start.
“If you put the car at idle and back up to a bank of snow, the exhaust fumes, if they have nowhere else to go, go back inside the car and hit the snow and go back inside,” Rastad said.
For an electric car, Rustad says the best place to store it is in the garage at night.
“If we can keep them inside the house, I think it’s a good opportunity to make sure they don’t strain the battery as much,” says Rustad.
Finally, Rustad recommends keeping the gas tank half full to keep it from freezing and monitoring tire pressure.
AAA says take care of your battery this winter by driving at least 5-10 minutes a day to charge it.
More information from the US Department of Energy.