Many of us dread leaving work to face a car that feels like it's spent the day in the sub-zero temperatures of the arctic.

It's easy to jump into the car and crank up the heating, while waiting for it to warm up before driving off.

But although that might seem like a good idea, according to experts, that's the one thing you absolutely shouldn't do.

It turns out that leaving your car idle with the engine running actually prolongs the warm-up period and doesn't do the car any good at all.

Apparently, this dates back to the days of carburettors, which needed several minutes to get an operating temperature so they could run smoothly.

According to Road&Track, engines are now fuel-injected so you should just drive away immediately and brace the cold.

Idling for too long on a cold day can cause engine oil dilution as raw petrol seeps into the oil, breaking down its lubrication and increasing the wear.