Should You Warm Up Your Engine Before Driving?
Many people wonder whether they should warm up their engine before they drive. Specifically, during the cold winter weather season.
Some people choose to warm up their car because they think that it will prolong the life of their engine. While others feel their comfort drastically improves upon entering a preheated vehicle.
Whatever each driver’s reasoning for warming their engine is, it’s time they change their ways. This is because many different experts have performed many tests and concluded to warm up your engine before driving actually does much more harm than it does good.
Warm Up Your Engine & Do More Harm Than Good…..
The best thing that you can do to warm up your engine is to drive your car.
Gasoline is less likely to evaporate when the engine is cold. However, it is important note that driving your car fast can put an unnecessary strain on your engine. That is why you will need to drive less than 45 miles per hour for the first five minutes you are driving.
Driving too fast when the engine is cold can cause damage to it.
The belief that a car engine should be warmed up before the vehicle is driven has been around for many many years.
In the past, cars were warmed up for a good reason. Before the 1990s, carburetor engines were predominately used in cars. You had to let an older car warm up before you drove it in cold weather because the car was much more likely to stall if not first warmed up.
However, carburetor engines are not used in today’s vehicles. The fuel injection method eliminates the need for a carburetor. That is why it is not necessary to warm up the engine.
The Buick Estate Wagon and Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, which both made their debut in 1990, were two of the last vehicles to use carburetors. Therefore, unless you have a car that was built before 1990, it probably does not have a carburetor engine.
Your engine needs to reach a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Warming your car up will not help your engine reach that temperature faster. The best way for your engine to reach that temperature is for you to drive your car.
What the Experts Say…..
Experts have stated that modern engines are designed in a way that will warm up faster while driving than they would if they would if the car or truck was sitting.
In fact, The Environmental Protection Agency has stated that warming up a car before you drive it is not only useless, but it is also wasteful.
Energy.gov and the Environmental Protection Agency have stated that a car should not be left idle for more than 30 seconds.
There are also some laws that make it illegal for you to leave your car idle for more than a few minutes. For example, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and New York are some of the cities that have this type of regulation. If your car is left idle in one of those cities, then you may be charged a fine.
Benefits of not Warming up Your Car Engine….
Every car has a catalytic converter. The catalytic converter is designed to significantly reduce car pollution. By up to 90 percent!
However, your catalytic converter does not work properly until the engine is warm. This means that if you leave your car running and walk away from it, then you will be emitting more pollution into the air than if you were readily driving your vehicle.
It is also important to note potentially fatal dangers if you warm up your car in an enclosed area. For instance, inside of a garage that is attached to your home. If you forget to first open your garage door carbon monoxide could enter your home quickly, silently, & without you knowing it.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov):
In 2015, a total of 393 deaths resulting from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning occurred, with 36% of the deaths occurring in December, January, or February.
If the potentially fatal health hazard isn’t enough to convince you not to warm up you engine prior to driving. Then possibly the cost of doing so will…..
You waste money by warming up your car. A study by Energy Policy found that on average, Americans waste $5.9 billion in fuel because of cars and trucks left to idle. You waste money every second that your car is left idling. Warming up your vehicles engine while it’s parked not moving is leaving your vehicle at idle.
When your car is left idle for a long period of time, fuel residue has a tendency to build up inside of the engine. The more fuel you waste, the more residue will build up inside of your engine.
This can lead to a reduction in miles per gallon.
It can also lead to poor engine performance.
Additionally, this can reduce the lifespan of your engine.
Convinced that you should not warm your engine prior to driving yet?
Furthermore, idling cars are responsible for about 1.6 percent of the greenhouse gases. Pollution reduces air quality and creates smog. Air quality could be drastically improved if more people would stop warming up their cars before they get in them.
The conclusion to many drivers question……..
“Should I warm my car or truck engine prior to driving”?