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Allow the engine to warm up - harmful and prohibited

With the increasingly colder temperatures, the need to warm up the engine at the roadside will increase again. But drivers should be warned: This method is of little use, is forbidden and can even be really expensive in the end.

  • Allowing it to warm up increases fuel consumption

  • The warm-up phase is particularly harmful to the engine

  • There is a risk of a fine of 10 euros

When the engine is stationary, it takes significantly longer to reach operating temperature. A large amount of fuel is consumed for this without giving up any power to drive the vehicle.

Our tests have also shown that leaving the engine running while the vehicle is stationary does not get particularly warm. After four minutes of warming up the engine with an outside temperature of -10 degrees, the engine oil has just reached a temperature of -7 degrees and only a mild breeze of around 13 degrees comes from the air outlet nozzles inside the car. For this, however, about 0.1 liters of gasoline were burned.

The Warm-up phase is special for the engine harmful. Running while standing not only extends this warm-up phase, but also the phase with increased wear and tear. The engine oil takes longer to reach operating temperature, which in turn increases the friction in the engine.

Let the engine warm up: a fine is imminent

All road users are encouraged to do so, everyone to prevent unnecessary noise and exhaust emissions. Section 30 (1) of the Road Traffic Regulations (StVO) states:

"When using vehicles, unnecessary noise and avoidable exhaust emissions are prohibited. In particular, it is forbidden to let vehicle engines run unnecessarily and to close vehicle doors excessively loudly. Unnecessary driving back and forth is prohibited within built-up areas if it annoys others."

What does this mean for the driver? The engine is primarily used for locomotion and not to free windows from fogging or frost or even to warm the interior of the car. Anyone who violates it has to go with one Warning fee of 10 euros calculate. In trucks, on the other hand, warming up the engine is often technically necessary and therefore unavoidable.

But theory and practice are not always in harmony: if road safety is no longer guaranteed due to restricted visibility, the driver inevitably has to clear the window. Be it with a dry cloth or with the help of the ventilation. We recommend a clean drying cloth to be deposited in the car so that the fogged windows can be cleaned.

Conclusion: By letting the engine warm up while stationary the fuel consumption increases, The environment is extremely polluted and the engine wear increases. Every motorist should be aware of these negative effects and therefore refrain from warming up the engine, which is prohibited anyway.

Alternatives and Tricks

A good alternative for any car owner without a garage is oneAuxiliary heating. Modern parking heaters can usually either be started using a remote control or pre-programmed for a specific time. This means you can get into a de-iced - and preheated - car even at temperatures well below freezing point and drive off immediately without any problems.

You can find all information about the parking heater here

Another alternative to warming up the engine areAnti-freeze filmsthat are placed over the vehicle and fixed in place after parking. However, these foils often only cover the front window. For this reason, snow or ice usually still has to be cleared from the side and rear windows.

One can help against fogged windowsDrying cloth in the car. You can also use simple tricks to reduce the humidity in the car and prevent the windows from fogging up:

  • Dry the floor mats regularly or use rubber mats in winter

  • Before getting in, knock the snow off your shoes

  • Remove snow from any load (skis, sledges, etc.) before packing them into the car.

Read here what you can do against moisture in the car

Further tips can be found in our video with JP Kraemer.

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