Should You Warm Up Your Car in the Winter?

Motor City Car Guy

Back in the day when I was a kid, my parents always warmed up the car before we went anywhere in the winter.

Mom and Dad said that we needed to warm up the car before driving it when it was cold so that the engine would last longer and we wouldn't have to buy a new car so soon.

Another reason to warm up the car was so that we could go straight from a warm house into a warm car. Those stiff vinyl seats sure were cold!

Anyway, a lot of people still warm up their cars in the winter these days, especially if they have a remote starter. All they have to do is push a button, and their vehicle starts up while they sit in their warm home and finish having their morning coffee. Then in ten minutes or so, they get in their car and drive away.

So, is it necessary to warm up your car in the winter these days? Or is the only reason to warm up your car in the winter for your comfort and warmth?

Surprisingly, warming up your car in the winter isn't good for it.

We started warming up our vehicles in the first place because they used to have carburetors. Now that our vehicles no longer have carburetors, there is no need to warm up our cars before driving away.

Today's vehicles have modern internal combustion engines. These days, when you let your engine run to warm up, extra fuel is being put into the combustion chamber and can get into the cylinder walls. Gasoline is a solvent, so if you get too much of it on the cylinder walls, it can dissolve the oil that lubricates the cylinders. And without sufficient lubrication, the life of crucial components can be shortened.

So, there you have it. Unless your vehicle has a carburetor, warming up your car isn't necessary.

The experts say that our cars are so advanced now that you can hop in your cold car, start it up, and drive away. But be sure to start with an easy drive and don't put the pedal to the metal right away. Ease into the drive. When you ease into the drive, your car will warm up easier than you thought.

According to the experts, if we choose to warm up our car in the winter, we are choosing our comfort over what is best for our car's components. So, you might want to think twice before you warm up your vehicle in the winter.

Drive carefully and stay safe out there.

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