Why South African Drivers Shouldn’t Leave Their Cars Idling Unattended and What the Real Danger Actually Is

Why South African Drivers Shouldn’t Leave Their Cars Idling Unattended and What the Real Danger Actually Is

  • Switching on a car's ignition and allowing it to idle has become common practice, especially during the winter months
  • However, the technology in modern cars negates the need to warm up a car's engine, although some older models may require it
  • Instead of the car idling stationary, experts suggest driving slowly for the first few kilometres in order for the engine to become lubricated, and it's also more efficient

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The heart of winter brings low temperatures and increases a widely-used practice of motorists starting their car's ignition and allowing the vehicle to idle, sometimes unattended.

cars, south africa, emissions, fumes
South Africans have been warned against leaving their cars unoccupied while driving. Image: MotorPress
Source: UGC

Besides the spewing of emissions and wasting fuel, another danger is some people leave their cars unattended to save time. According to MotorPress, in 2019, 11% of the 84 000 cars stolen in the United Kingdom were due to negligent drivers leaving the keys in their car.

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This should be seen as a warning to South Africans as the country experiences low temperatures and motorists have maintained the habit of idling their car before heading to work. It's dangerous to leave a car unattended with the keys in the ignition in a driveway or at a petrol station.

South Africa doesn't experience cold temperatures such as those seen in the northern hemisphere, but on a very cold morning, idling a car for one minute and no more is fine to do.

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According to Consumer Reports, the important thing to remember is to not rev the engine hard for the first few minutes of driving prior to the temperature gauge lifting off the cold icon.

Masterdrive CEO Eugene Herbert says:

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"Starting your car and driving slowly for the first kilometres is a much more efficient way to warm up the vehicle. It uses less fuel and, as mentioned, carries a much lower safety risk than leaving your car to idle unattended.”

No, those ‘fuel pills’ going viral on social media claiming to reduce fuel consumption don’t work

Briefly News reports on another good piece of advice for South African motorists, and that's to ignore chancers trying to sell so-called 'fuel pills' that claim to reduce a car's fuel consumption once added to the fuel tank.

Several videos on social media show South Africans promoting the use of so-called 'fuel-saving pills'; one of the videos on TikTok has close to 940 000 views.

The woman in the video also claims the pill makes the engine work more optimally. The high fuel price has made South Africans desperate to save money on transport costs, and the use of social media to punt these 'fuel-saving pills' is a worrying concern.

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Source: Briefly News

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