Winter is rough on our vehicles, especially in Upstate New York where it can become exceptionally cold, but if you’re someone who starts up your car to let it warm before zooming off to work in the dark of the morning, you might want to reconsider.

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Nobody likes to get behind the wheel of a vehicle so cold inside that a person can see their breath, but car experts say that if you want to prolong the life of your vehicle, that’s pretty much what you should be doing.

It used to be standard to need to start up a vehicle and let it run for a few minutes before taking it to the road in order for the engine to properly warm, but the design of vehicles has come a long way in recent years and this is generally not necessary.

According to Firestone Complete Auto Care, thanks to modern fuel injection systems, you can pop your keys in the ignition or press the start button and be on your way instantaneously.

Firestone also notes that when you start your vehicle and let it idle, you’re not just burning precious (and expensive gas) but you’re minimizing the fuel efficiency of your car.

You might think the engine in your vehicle needs time to get acclimated, but the reality is that your engine will warm up faster when the vehicle is in motion.

If you hate driving a cold car, you’re going to loathe this – the experts at Firestone say that you should layer on warm clothes, making sure to bundle up well, start your vehicle, and be on your way.

If that's still not enough to convince you that it's better to get in and go - check this out Americans are literally throwing $5.9 billion dollars of gas away by letting their vehicles idle instead of just getting on their way.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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