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Tricks to Warming Up Your Car

Updated: 01/23/2014 10:20 PM
Created: 01/23/2014 9:40 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson

All this cold weather has many of us heading out the door 15 minutes early to warm up our cars, but what's really the best way to warm it up?

We all have our own little tricks.

"I let her warm up so her transmission fluid has a chance to warm up and she'll get up and go," explained Eric Ondler.

"I just got a car starter for a gift so I'm pretty happy about that," said Diane Anderson.

But how long do you wait?

"About 15 minutes," said Anderson.

"Probably at least 10 minutes," said Levi Baysinger.

Just sitting idle might not be the trick, however. We called around to several Duluth auto shops. Some said simply let the car run, but Gavin Aker with Allstar Service Center explained some fluids in your car won't warm up until your car is in motion.

"So when you first take off, even if your car has been idling outside for 15, 20 minutes or even a half hour, that's not going to have any affect on gear lube and differential transfer cases or even transmissions," said Aker.

Aker recommends letting your car run for two minutes; any longer and it's simply for the comfort of the driver. Then, take the first mile or two easy on the gas pedal. Not doing so, said Aker, could put your car at higher risk of internal damage.

But there's another way to warm up your car. Block heaters will set you back between $50-$100, but Aker said they are the surest way to keep your car starting and keep it warm.

"It just sits in the coolant and when you plug it into the extension cord, the element heats up and keeps the coolant hot," explained Aker.

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MN AREAS AFFECTED: Koochiching; St. Louis
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