Cold Start Dangers - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Cold Start Dangers

Wichita Falls, TX – With temperatures continuing to drop around Texoma many people will likely be heading outside to warm up their vehicle prior to the morning commute.

Newschannel 6 found out that letting your vehicle sit in idle is not the best way to warm up your vehicle.and could be dangerous.

We have all heard the saying, “Old habits die hard.”  One of the oldest of them all is ‘warming up your vehicle.' The myth that if you don't warm up your vehicle, it will cause some type of damage is simply not true. In fact, letting your vehicle sit in idle could cause even bigger problems. Especially if you don't have enough coolant in your vehicle's coolant system.

Ray Stephens, Owner of Todd's Service Center told Newschannel 6 no harm will be done if you just get in, start your vehicle  and drive when cold. 

"I don't see that being a problem. May be on the older cars, but the newer cars there designed, computer controlled burn efficiently," said Stephens.  

He said the majority of new cars on the road today use electronic fuel injection. It tells your vehicle fuel injectors when it's cold to stay open longer, allowing more fuel into your engine to help it run cold.

However, Stephens said if you drive a diesel vehicle, most require you to warm up before getting in and driving when cold. 

There also some dangers associated with warming your car.

During winter months, warming up a car can cause carbon monoxide to back up into your vehicle. For those of you who don't know - carbon monoxide is an invisible gas that has no smell, taste, or color but is poisonous and can be deadly.

Here are a few tips from the Centers for Disease Control Prevention on how you can avoid carbon monoxide from your vehicle: 

·         Have a mechanic check the exhaust system of your vehicle every year. 

·         Never run your vehicle in the garage with the door shut. Carbon monoxide can build up quickly in a closed area. 

The CDC says every year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, more than 20,000 people visit the emergency room and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6 
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