Drivers warned over common motoring myth that could cost you hundreds in repairs | The Sun

MOTORISTS have been warned about a common motoring myth that could cost them hundreds in repairs.

Drivers often believe that idling their engine can help in preserving their cars, but it can actually damage them.

Many drivers idle their engine because they're feeling the chill, but it's a common misconception that cars need to warm up on a cold day.

Instead of idling your motor, experts recommend the '10-second rule'.

If the car is going to be stationary for more than ten seconds, you should turn off the engine.

Leaving your engine on to heat up your vehicle can actually damage the car's spark plugs, cylinders and exhaust.


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According to research from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), 64% of drivers let their engines idle in the colder months.

The research also found that motorists are wasting a combined £188million on fuel costs as well as producing a carbon footprint over a lifetime of 825kg.

Shockingly, more than four in ten admitted to engine idling at least three times per week.

Farooq Yaqub, member of the IET's Council and EV expert, said to the Daily Record: "It only typically takes less than 30 seconds to lubricate your engine once running, and when driving, your engine should quickly reach full operating temperature.

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"Excessive idling can also actually damage your engine’s components, including spark plugs, cylinders and exhaust systems – and an idling engine can produce up to twice the emissions of a car in motion."

They also say that restarting the car doesn't increase fuel consumption after it has been off for a short period of time.

And it can land you an £80 fine under Rule 123 of the Highway Code, which states: "You must not leave a vehicle running unnecessarily."

Farooq continued saying: "The transition to electric vehicles will be so critical in the long-term in helping reduce emissions from petrol and diesel engines.

"Yet the research has demonstrated a clear financial barrier to this being a straightforward process, amplified by the cost-of-living crisis.

"This is why it's so important that the Government provides further support and incentives for EV uptake if they are serious about meeting their 2030 net zero goals."

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