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When I woke up this morning, our thermometer said -16. So I think it’s high time to discuss warming up the car for those of you who have recently moved, or are thinking of moving to, a northern state.


Here is the well established rule of thumb: For every degree below freezing (32 degrees)* you should allow the car to warm up (stand idly) for 5 minutes.


So, for example, if it’s 22 outside, you should wait 50 minutes before you head off into the tundra.


Okay, I know that right now, some of you new folks are doing the math and saying “Wait a second. If it’s, say, negative 8, that’s . . . hold on a minute . . . 40 degrees below freezing . . . which would be mean 40 times 5, . . . carry the 2 . . .  200 hundred minutes! That’s more than 3 hours!


To this I respond: Welcome to Minnesota!


So yes, if you’re going out on an errand run after supper, this may well mean that you have to start your car before you get home from work. But you might be able to save time by driving across lakes on your way to Rosedale. So you have that going for you.


* Fahrenheit, obviously. For Celsius, the time per degree is 9 minutes (9/5 5 minutes – according to the metrics conversion factor).

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