Should a vehicle be started daily in cold weather?

Asked by Feb 02, 2013 at 11:09 AM about the 2001 Ford F-150 XLT SB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

We have a second vehicle that we rarely drive, I love to drive it but my husband cannot drive and does not like riding in it. It is in good condition, 80,000 miles and we keep it serviced. It sits in our driveway and my husband thinks he needs to start it everyday and let it idle for 15 minutes to charge the battery during cold weather when it is 20 degrees or less. Is this necessary?

12 Answers


1 a week would be good but you really need to drive it 5 to 10 miles when you do start it to get engine to operation temp and this helps dry out exhaust system, moisture build up from condsation when just starting and running 15 minutes, exhaust will rust out a lot quicker if just starting and not driving, also warms all fluids like transmission and differential, seals will dry out and start leaking if not driven

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

Great answer, thank you so much.


A little story, extreme, but an example. A relative brought a brand new high end oldsmobile a little over 20 years ago at age 75. He drove it almost every day, three blocks to the nearest shopping center so he could walk around with the older oldsters. I suspect he was trying to find a girlfrield. To make a long story short, he still around, but getting close to 100 doesn't drive much anymore, but occassionally tries. Not long ago he asked me to take a look at it just to check it out. Since it is garage kept, it looks like the day he drove it home. Getting into the car I noticed it had just turned 20K miles in over twenty years. Here are some of the problems. The a/c was shot. Seals were gone and freon would leak out as fast at it was put in. Every pulley on the front of the engine shot, rusted and squeeked like an old Sherman tank. water pump leaked without the ending running. Tranny not shifting correctly, Powering steering pumps squeels like nobody's business (seals) Master cylinder of brakes gone. Simply stated. Everything in and on your engine which holds fluids have seals and gaskets. If the car is not driven these things tend to dry out. Since you have 80 K on it, it's probably ok. When hubby takes a nap, or you go somewhere by yourself, take the other car. A vehicle has to be operated occassionally to remain in good condition. A sort trip on the freeway at highway speeds wouldn't hurt either.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

One more option. You can also take the tires off or put it on blocks, put stable in the gas run the car for 10 minutes top off the tank. take out the battery and then you shouldnt need to worry about it till the next time you want to drive it.


david h25, what does this story have to do with this question ?????

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

ok just wondering !!


..Just like our bodies; a vehicle in a state of rest, stay's in the state of rest. A vehicle that is in a state of 65-75% movement, maintains it's state of proper functioning and longevity...!!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I hve the same situation ... if the car is covered and it's 20 degrees should you still run it once a wk ... I read online once every 2-3 wks but I don't want to take a chance of a dead battery ... thanks


Warm the car up fully if you are starting it in cold weather. Condensation in the engine will not do it any good so drive it around the block a few times.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

K thanks ... so would you recommend once a wk or 2-3 wks ... since it's so cold here now and car is covered im debating how often I should do this ...

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

As long as the car starts I would not worry too much about it. If it were my car I would try for once a week.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

K I'll do once a wk I just am worried abt a dead battery in this cold by waiting too long so that's y I was asking for advice ... thanks again

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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