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Don’t Leave Your Engine Running To Defrost Your Car

With the sunshine starting to pour into our lives once again, it can be easy to forget that it’s still February and, technically still winter. But don’t be fooled by a sunny spell – as usual in the UK, a frosty day could well be waiting around the corner. We don’t usually like to get too comfortable until we’re into April when the risk of frost has mostly passed. Until then, we could expect a plummet in temperature, especially on a cloudless night, and have a welcoming frost waiting on our cars the next day.

If you find yourself waking up to a frost or ice covered car, you most likely do what many are guilty of – running your car engine to defrost it. What many people aren’t aware of is that leaving your vehicle engine running while it’s not on the road or moving is considered a traffic offence.

Leave the engine running while stationary

When it’s super chilly outside – and minus temperatures are the norm early in the morning – it is very tempting to leave the engine on to warm up the car before beginning your journey. However, not only is this an inefficient way of defrosting the car (you could be waiting 10 minutes or more) it’s also bad for the environment.

Stationary idling – which means leaving the engine on while the car is on a road and not moving – is also a traffic offence. Which means if caught, you could be faced with a £40 fine! This is to deter people from leaving the vehicle engine running unnecessarily.

There’s also another reason why you shouldn’t leave your engine running in an attempt to de-ice the windscreens. Because it takes so long, drivers are tempted to go back into the house and finish off any chores or grab their lunch before getting into the car. This is a fantastic opportunity for car thieves. You should never leave the keys in the engine unattended – and if your vehicle is stolen due to this type of carelessness, it is unlikely the insurance company will pay out for the loss.

Moral of the story – buy some de-icer or use salty water to defrost your car!

Winter maintenance check

All this freezing weather isn’t good for engines. If you think your car is in need of repair or a winter maintenance check (including battery and anti-freeze in the windscreen reservoir) then get in touch and book an appointment with our experienced mechanics.

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