Are you warming up your car? You may want to rethink that.

Here’s a news flash – a huge part of the U.S. is going through a brutal cold spell. When you get up in the morning to get to work, the last think you want to do is sit in a freezing car waiting for the damn heater to come up and make it even semi-comfortable. That’s why your first instinct is to start the car, get the engine going, and get it heated up inside. Right?

But according to “Road and Track, that’s the wrong way to treat your car. They say that starting the car and just letting it idle for a prolonged period dilutes your oil, and does more harm that good. What happens is all that idle time let’s raw gas seep into the oil, thereby breaking it down and increasing engine wear. That ain’t good.

What to do? Just drive the thing. Make sure that the windows are clear of ice, snow, and fog, and then hit the road. That’ll warm the engine up faster, and you’ll get nice, warm, comfortable air coming out of the vents more quickly. It just seems like it’s taking longer because you’re freezing while you’re waiting for it to kick in.

Source: Road And Track