Mechanics warn against walking away from idling engines - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Mechanics warn against walking away from idling engines

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Roppel suggested starting an engine and allowing it to idle for a minute, then pressing the accelerator once to warm the vehicle more quickly. Roppel suggested starting an engine and allowing it to idle for a minute, then pressing the accelerator once to warm the vehicle more quickly.
Kevin Roppel Kevin Roppel
Betty Arms Betty Arms
Robert Mydland Robert Mydland

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A common way to keep warm on cold winter days may be hurting your vehicle's engine, mechanics said.

As temperatures plunge into the 20s overnight into Tuesday morning, Metro Louisville will get its worst brush with cold weather so far this season.

Even on cold mornings, people shouldn't allow their cars to idle while they stay warm inside their homes, said Kevin Roppel, co-owner of Roppel's Auto Service in Louisville.

"For one thing, it's not legal. You need to be in your car while it's running. It could slip out of gear, or somebody could steal it," Roppel said. "And it's not good for (engines) to idle for a long time."

Instead, Roppel suggested starting an engine and allowing it to idle for a minute, then pressing the accelerator once to warm the vehicle more quickly.

The company's four Louisville shops will be busy for the next couple days with common cold weather problems, he said.

Mechanics will check car batteries for free, which can save a lot of hassle if someone's vehicle won't start one morning, Roppel said.

Rain will change to snow after midnight, and the snow will last one or two hours before ending quickly, WAVE 3 Meteorologist Brian Goode said.

The ground temperatures are warm but there could be a slick spot on the roads Tuesday morning, he said.

Road crews from Louisville Metro Public Works, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Indiana Department of Transportation said they were prepared with salt piles and would be monitoring the road conditions overnight.

People driving along Interstate 65 in southern Indiana had mixed views about the cold weather.

"I'm just a little anxious," said Betty Arms, who was driving north to Indianapolis for the birth of her seventh grandchild. "I'm not looking forward to (dealing with) the weather."

Arms said she sometimes would allow her car to idle outside, but only for a few minutes at a time.

Meanwhile, Robert Mydland was driving south from northern Indiana and said he was prepared for the cold and possible snow.

"I love snow," he said. "You just have to take it nice and slow – you'll get to your destination."

Copyright 2013 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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