Should You Warm Up Your Vehicle In The Winter?


Something most people hear when the cold weather starts blowing through is that you always need to warm up your engine when the temperature drops to prevent damaging your vehicle. While this used to be absolutely necessary for most vehicles made before the mid-90s, modern technology makes this step unneeded.


Before the introduction of electronic fuel injection engines, carburetors were used to mix gasoline and air to a useful mixture for internal combustion engines. If this mix was not properly done, it could lead to damage to the engine and lead to inefficient fuel consumption. This is where the advice originated, from actual need.


With the newer electronic fuel injection engines, this is no longer a necessary process to ready your vehicle in the morning. Due to the addition of specific sensors designed to measure temperatures and adjust proportionally, your vehicle should be getting the right mixture regardless of what temperature it is outside.


While idling your vehicle isn’t necessary, you should give your engine about a minute to build up oil pressure to prepare for the drive ahead. Typically, you can start your vehicle and scrape off the ice accumulation that might be there, which should give your car enough time.


Now this doesn’t mean that you should start your car and floor it immediately. Your vehicle still needs a few seconds to adjust and build up oil pressure. In most cases, turning on your car and then going to scrape off any ice buildup should be enough. Idling is not even the most effective way to warm up your engine. In fact, driving your vehicle is the best way to get it up to temp!


While this may save you some time in the morning when you get ready to go to work, it’s always important to carefully judge the road ahead, especially in icy conditions.

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