With temperatures dropping this week, some tips on keeping your car warm

FARGO — It's a winter staple in North Dakota: The chirping melody of a remote starting a car.

With cold snaps becoming regular now, places like Tintmasters in Fargo are installing remote starters for drivers sick and tired of dealing with a cold vehicle.

"(For) the last month and a half, we're averaging five to six remote starter installations a day, some days a little bit less," said Keith Breckheimer, sales manager at Tintmasters in Fargo.

Breckheimer said remote starters are popular this time of year, and he's helped install about five of them in cars per day, and about 20 per week.

He said they save even the most veteran of area residents from having to get into a painfully cold car, but it's also been an adjustment for those who aren't used to temps as low as 25 below zero.


"We see a lot of people that just moved up here from warmer climates down in like Georgia or Tennessee that aren't used to the North Dakota winters yet," Breckheimer said.

Experts say if you have to leave your car outside during the coldest of days, start your car every four to six hours, even if you don't have a remote.

"(It's) kind of like waking up in the morning, you need a little bit of fuel in your body to get moving, your vehicle needs kind of the same," said Vern Newman, the general manager at Matt's Automotive Service Center.

Typically, experts say idling your car for at least 30 seconds before driving is enough to get you going, but Newman takes a different approach, even though it could cost him more.

"Personally, I let mine run for about 36 minutes in the morning, so I certainly tend to see my gas prices going up in the wintertime," he said.

Once your car has started, both Breckheimer and Newman said you should take it easy for the first five minutes of your drive to let your engine warm up.

They also said following all of these tips can help make sure your car spends less time in the shop and more time on the road.

Tanner Robinson is a producer for First News on WDAY-TV.
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