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Published February 19, 2013, 08:06 PM

Cost of idling cars in cold temps

Fargo-Moorhead (WDAY-TV) Tonight will be one of the coldest of the year, so far. And when it gets this miserable out, with the wind and cold, who doesn't want the comforts of a warm car, running outside the grocery store or coffee shop? But what it is costing you?

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo-Moorhead (WDAY-TV) Tonight will be one of the coldest of the year, so far. And when it gets this miserable out, with the wind and cold, who doesn't want the comforts of a warm car, running outside the grocery store or coffee shop? But what it is costing you?

The big question, is the comfort worth the cost? Idling your car costs 6-billion gallons of fuel that costs us 20-billion dollars a year.

Check out the local grocery store parking lot or strip mall. In our sub-zero temperatures, you’ll find those who leave the car running while tending to errands.

Tim Kresien—Idler: “I started before nine and I had a few places to stop and I left it running.”

People like Tim Kresien who had grocery shopping to do this morning.

Tim Kresien: “You have to run around town all day, you might as well leave it running. It doesn't cost that much.”

The bottom line is you get no gas mileage when your car is idling. And for every two minutes your car is idling, is the same as driving a mile in your car. Idling your car for just 30-minutes, costs you a quarter gallon of gas. That’s close to a buck.

Dennis Miller—M-State-Moorhead: “Anytime you sit and idle your car the fuel economy goes down.”

M-State's Dennis Miller says he teaches his students in our kind of weather, it is good to briefly warm up a car, to get the transmission fluid and oil flowing. But long idling, he says, is strictly for comfort and it costs.

Dennis Miller: “I am included in the picture, I like to be comfortable and sometimes, until it hits us deep in our pocketbook, then we start suffering the consequences either getting in a cold car or paying the price.”

Another reason to keep your car shut off: Fargo Police can fine you for leaving your car running, un-attended, and un-locked.

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