You get out of that warm bed and it only takes one look out the frosty window to know it's a cold morning.  No, it's a South Dakota cold morning.

What's the first thing that a lot of vehicle owners?  Reach for that trusty remote starter to get that icebox, otherwise known as your vehicle, warmed up.

The longstanding belief is that to improve performance in cold weather, you should allow the engine to run for a few minutes before driving.

But is it really necessary to 'warm-up' your car, and more importantly, is it good for your engine?

According to AAA, you should start the engine and allow it to idle long enough to fasten your seat belt.  This will allow the lubricating oil to cover all of the engine's vital parts.

When driving the car, avoiding hard acceleration actually allows the engine to warm faster, and it also reduces engine wear and emissions.

Of course, take a little longer idle time to clear off snow and ice from the windows.

AAA also recommends an engine block heater to further reduce wear when starting a car in below zero temps.