Letting your car idle in the cold

You may enjoy a warm ride on a chilly morning, but letting your vehicle idle for minutes on end can do more harm than good according to local mechanics.

Local car experts say letting your car idle for too long wastes gas.
It also strips oil from parts that help your engine run like the cylinders and pistons.
Technician Matt Kees says there's a secret right amount of time to letting your car warm up.

"If it's below 20 degrees, letting your car idle for 2, 3, 4 minutes every morning is fine. Obviously the longer you run it, a lot worse your fuel mileage is going to be," comments Kees.

Another technician, John Ham, explained that the age of your vehicle can affect the appropriate time to let your car idle also. He says older engines won't be impacted as much, but the buildup on newer ones can have a bad impact.

Ham says, "The newer ones can't idle very much because the DPF is in the actual filter, so it can plug up with soot and particles. So it's not recommended that you idle those very long at all."

Technicians also advise reading your owners manual for vehicle specific recommendations, and that idling too long releases unnecessary emissions into the atmosphere. The Environmental Protection Agency says idling for 30 seconds uses more fuel than restarting a vehicle.