The nights are getting colder and frozen windows are lurking again. For many people, this is a reason to warm up the engine of their car before setting off. In doing so they do take a number of risks.
If you warm up the engine of your car in front of the door, the heating also comes on. This warms up the interior and demists or even defrosts the windows. That sounds tempting, but it's actually not smart. Not for the technology, not for the environment and not for the wallet. You can even get hefty fines for it!
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When a petrol or diesel engine has not yet reached operating temperature, combustion is far from optimal. The exhaust gas cleaning system also does not operate at full power at low temperatures. This ensures that the emission of harmful substances during idling of the engine is disproportionately high.
If you drive away with the car straight away, the engine will reach temperature faster and the environmentally unfriendly cold running phase will be much shorter.
In addition to the environment and your neighbors, technology also prefers that you do not allow your car's engine to warm up. This partly has to do with the oil temperature. Even if your car engine idles for several minutes on a cold morning, the engine oil barely warms up. And thick, cold oil has a less good lubricating effect than warm oil.
In addition, a cold oil pump does not work optimally at low (idle) speeds. All this together results in greater wear of the rotating part of the engine. In the long run this can result in high costs.
In addition to possible repair costs, an engine idling for (too) long can hurt your wallet in another way. In Belgium for example. In Flanders it is a traffic violation of the first degree, for which a fine of 58 euros applies. In Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium, it has even been considered an environmental offense since 2019, for which a penalty of 130 euros can be imposed.
The Belgians are not the only ones who punish the unnecessary idling of engines. It is also banned in Germany. Violation can cost you 80 euros. In Sweden, warming up your car engine has been prohibited for decades and social control over it is serious. In most municipalities it is illegal to let your car engine idle for more than two minutes. But it can be even stricter: only 1 minute is the maximum in number of places. Violation can result in a fine of 1000 to 2000 Swedish krona (approx. 90 to 180 euros).
Do you want to be kind to the environment, your neighbors and your car, but also like to get into a warm car in the morning? Maybe a parking heater is something for you. But seat heating and steering wheel heating also contribute to a comfortable interior climate. And windscreen heating ensures that a window that has just been scraped clean is and remains free of steam and ice.
This post was last modified on November 16, 2023 3:45 pm
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