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How much gas is getting used up by letting our 2002 SuperDuty F-250 idle in the driveway for 10, 20, 30 minutes! Dear Hubby thinks it is only drops...but I fear there is a bit too much ENGINE WEAR and GAS being used up. One a 30 degree day, how long does it take to get the engine ready? On a 40 degree day how long. Of course we want the cab warm, but we are usually well dressed for the elements, so that's only an excuse! Thanks for your wisdom, we are needing some here.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Christine, There are arguments made on both sides of this issue, if you think on the comfort side and/or mechanical side. Here are a few articles you can check out in relation to this debate: http://ca.autos.yahoo.com/p/1663/do-you-need-to-warm-up-your-car http://autos.aol.com/article/warm-up-car/ Typically, newer vehicles are equipped with a standard "warmup period" programmed into the ECU. This is when the vehicle is first started and the Rpms are above 1100, and naturally brought back down below 900 RPM when oil and transmission fluid are warmed to exceptable specs per manufacture. Hope this helps!

Kristin Brocoff, Director of Corporate Communications at CarMD.com Christine, With fuel prices where they're at, every little thing drivers can do to manage fuel economy is a good thing. And idling is not a good thing. In fact, when you're idling your vehicle's gas mileage drops to zero. Idling for more than 10 seconds (not to mention 10+ minutes) uses more gas and causes more pollution than simply turning off the engine and restaring it. Visit www.CarMD.com for more video and article tips to keep your car (and your pocketbook) green. Healthy driving. Kristin Brocoff, CarMD.com Corp.

Laurie Sarno, Co-Owner at Super Girls Auto Hello Christine-- Since you did not specify whether this truck is equipped with a gasoline or diesel engine, I will provide general information. With either, far more wear is incurred by loading the engine (driving) off a cold start than by allowing the engine to warm at least slightly. Diesel engines use very little fuel at idle, hence truckers and railroads seldom shutting down their equipment--preferring instead to simply let them idle. Gasoline engines will use more fuel, but this is offset by less wear incurred when attempting to immediately load a cold engine. Depending upon ambient temperature--three to ten minutes should be sufficient. Hope this helps- Thanks Super Girls Auto.

Lori Johnson, Owner and Instructor at Ladies Start Your Engines Dear Christine, First you should know that there is no need to warm up your engine other than to heat the inside so that it's nice and warm on a cold day. That being said, it's actually not good to idle your vehicle for too long. Not only does it burn more fuel, but it puts more contaminates in the air than driving does. There are many cities now that have laws against idling now as well. Here are some sites you can check out to see why. http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/myths/idling.html http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/transportation/idling/impact.cfm?attr=8 Lori Johnson www.ladiesstartyourengines.com

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