How often should I start my car and let it idle in cold weather? Answer: Don’t.


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In cold weather, how often should I start my car?

Corrections & Clarifications: An earlier version of this story misstated what happens when liquids are frozen. Water expands when frozen, while most other liquids do not.  

An intense cold snap is threatening to smash record lows across much of the nation through Thursday. 

With temperatures sliding and winter fast approaching, many car owners are asking: How often should I start my car to warm it up?

Turns out, the answer doesn’t lie in frequency.

Experts at AAA, a federation of motor clubs, say it’s not a good idea to warm your car up to keep it from freezing. 

“Ninety-five percent of the cars on the road today don’t use carburetors, so you no longer need to warm them up on cold days,” said Mike Calkins, manager of technical services at AAA.

Instead of repeatedly starting up your car to keep it warm, drivers who are concerned about their engines

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Worst start to the year for UK car sales since 1970

Britain has suffered its weakest January car sales in 51 years, as showroom closures brought the market to a near standstill.

a car parked in a parking lot

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said on Thursday that just 90,249 new vehicles were registered across the UK last month, down 40% on last year. SMMT said the new car registrations total was the lowest in January since 1970.

“Following a £20.4bn [$27.7bn] loss of revenue last year, the auto industry faces a difficult start to 2021,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

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Sales of diesel vehicles fell by 62%, while petrol car sales dropped 50%. Demand for electric vehicles rose by 8% and hybrid sales grew by 34%.

The headline slump was caused by lockdown restrictions across the UK, which meant car showrooms were shut.

Hawes called for showrooms to be opened

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Car sales see worst start to the year since 1970 as lockdowns stall recovery

New car sales at the start of the year were the weakest since 1970 as the recovery the beleaguered industry had hoped for stalled, industry figures show.

a crowded parking lot with many cars driving on a busy street: Sales in January were down by 39.5% on a year ago

© Reuters
Sales in January were down by 39.5% on a year ago

Just 90,249 vehicles were registered last month, 39.5% down from a year ago and the lowest January figure for more than half a century, as lockdown measures took their toll.

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The slump would have been even worse if not for “click-and-collect” options put in place by dealerships adapting to life during the pandemic, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which published the data.

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It called for showrooms to be reopened as soon as it is safe to do so.

The January data follows a “lost year” for

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