Its winter and we know the idea of getting into a freezing work truck or van is the opposite of appealing. But the concept of warming up your vehicle and idling in the winter is chock-full of costs, myths, and risks that can directly harm the profitability of your business.


Over the course of 6 months, AutoConnect GPS collected data regarding idling from our sample of over 1000 vehicles, across many companies and industries. We found that the average vehicle idled for 47 hours/month, wasting roughly 38 gallons (145 liters) of fuel. If you run a small business with a fleet of five vehicles that means you’re likely burning a lot of fuel per month due to idling.

Increased maintenance costs and expenses from idling can ramp up quickly. Now to completely eliminate idling is an unrealistic expectation, however, using the AutoConnect GPS solution, by setting an improvement target of 70% you could save $124/month.

Running a cold engine means inefficient fuel use which can lead to unnecessary wear and tear. Therefore warming the engine before use is a best practice to extend its life, right? Unfortunately no, that is one of the longest standing myths. This used to be true when vehicles operated with carburetors but nowadays, every vehicle has fuel injectors which have the ability to detect engine temperature. Once the computer recognizes that it’s cold, the fuel injectors compensate and inject a higher fuel concentration into the cylinders. This means that the vehicle will be functioning as if it were the middle of July. As the engine heats up, the fuel injectors will once again compensate and reduce the amount of fuel being shot into the cylinders to foster combustion.

Letting a vehicle idle to warm the engine is not only unhelpful, it will actually harm the engine. The more you idle in the cold, the likelier it is that the extra fuel will wash away the oil lubricating the piston rings and cylinder liners, which could lead to additional wear and tear and potentially even seize the engine.


Between November 1st and November 10th in Edmonton, Alberta over 33 vehicles had been stolen due to idling, and “warming up” vehicles before use. It is possible to reduce this risk by urging drivers to use steering wheel locks or other security measures such as GPS Tracking.


been done. That being said, the best way to prevent unnecessary wear and tear, wasted fuel, and theft is to simply not idle. Through precise tracking and monitoring AutoConnect GPS will help you benchmark vehicle idling and provide you the reporting and management tools necessary to reduce this wasteful behavior and save you money.

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