While the idea of sitting in a cold car has many people opting to install a remote start for their car, local shops say there’s more to do to be ready for the frigid weather.
Mechanics say it only takes about five to ten minutes to warm up a car before you head to work.
“Number one, it saves you a lot of pain and discomfort, because you’re able to start your car in the warmth of a building, and you can get your car warmed up before you get out there,” said driver Steve Miller.
Miller is one of many people who installed a remote start device in his car to prepare for winter.
Warming up your car, without keys in the ignition, is becoming increasingly important as thieves sometimes steal cars sitting, unattended in driveways on cold mornings.
“This year, there has been a 25-percent increase in remote car sales,” said Jason Lohmeier, of Expert Electronics. “Absolutely any time that it’s [below zero] outside, we see a large increase in remote start activity.”
Jason swears by his remote start system, and says it can give a serious advantage to car owners in cold weather.
“You want to keep your car warm, especially at times when you get up in the morning, if you have to get up for work,” he said. “If you don’t have it started all the way and the battery freezes out, when it get to these freezing temperatures, you can possibly not make it to work because your car won’t start.”
Steve Stoltz at Auto Care of Roscoe says you don’t want your car running for a long time. He warns against running it at intervals throughout the night.
“If you start it up in the middle of the night, and then you go to start it in the morning, the moisture from the heat will probably freeze again, so it’ll make it worse,” Stoltz said.
Most important, Stoltz said, is to make sure your car is ready for any conditions.
“Make sure you have plenty of fuel. Make sure the coolant is full…battery… and your heating system is working good, and good tires and tire pressure,” he said.