|the interior of the vehicle, but it does not
warm vehicle parts like the tires, steering
and other moving parts. These parts of
your vehicle are only warmed by driving.
According to Natural Resources Canada,
one minute of idling on a cold winter day
is enough. Start your vehicle, and by the
time you brush off the snow and clean
your windows, the vehicle is ready to go.
Use a block heater in the winter to warm
the engine oil and make cold starts easier
on your engine. Use a timer to switch the
block heater on two hours before you plan
Proper use of a block heater can
improve your vehicle’s overall fuel
economy by as much as 10 per cent. Do
not leave your block heater on overnight
or your energy savings will disappear in
higher electricity costs. Remote vehicle
starters are handy on cold mornings, but
do not start your vehicle too early.
A vehicle that is properly maintained
will be more fuel efficient and safe. Have
regular maintenance checks done by a
• A poorly tuned engine can increase fuel
consumption by up to 50 per cent.
• A clogged air filter can reduce fuel
efficiency by 10 per cent.
• Under-inflated tires increase fuel
consumption by about five per cent,
as well as increase tire wear and
To get maximum fuel economy on a
vehicle with a manual transmission, shift
through the lower gears smoothly and
quickly. Build up speed in the higher
gears. An automatic transmission shifts
to a higher gear earlier if you reduce
pressure on the gas pedal as you
92 A Driver's Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing