Winter is officially here in New England. There is snow on the ground, temperatures are chilly, and I have to start my car five minutes before I actually have to go somewhere. It gets the engine heated up, and I won’t be freezing on my way to my destination. Alas, I know its no good for the environment, letting my engine spew out emissions like that. But it is worse for your car to just jump in and drive off at a time when the oil is thick and hasn’t had a chance to lube the engine properly.
Or at least that is what I thought. But according to Ford, pre-warming your car can reduce emissions by heating the catalyst under light engine loads in the driveway rather than on the road.
I’ll be upfront when I say I am a big Blue Oval fan. Their green, fuel-efficient initiatives are also translating into a lot more sales, the new Mustang looks sharp (and gets 30 MPG in V6 form) and every little bit helps. Ford claims that by pre-heating the catalyst via a remote start system (that the buyer obviously has to pay for), hydrocarbons, nitrous oxide, and CO emissions can be reduced by up to 75%. Or you could, you know, trudge out to your car like the rest of us and just turn your car on.
The point is, for years, we’ve been told that idling a car in the winter is bad. Many hypermilers turn off their cars at long red lights to save fuel. Ford says that when the catalyst is properly warmed up, 99% of emissions come out as less harmful gases. The Blue Oval is now offering factory-installed remote starters, moving away from dealership-installed devices. This is obviously part of a ploy to get people to buy more remote starters, and it would be nice to see some actual numbers with a press release rather than broad statements.
But hey, at least I’ll feel a little less guilty when I warm up my Jeep tomorrow morning. Read on for the full press release.
Source: Ford | Image: Fourwheeler.com