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How Long Should You Warm Up Your Car

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Winterize Your Hybrid Car

How long should you warm your car up before driving in cold weather?

When the temperature starts dropping below freezing, the first thing you should do is winterize your hybrid car. This process is basically the same as winterizing a non-hybrid car, and includes the following steps:

Test your antifreeze

A quality stockpile of antifreeze is one of the most important things to have during the wintertime. If your antifreeze is subpar or has inadequate freeze protection, your car can freeze up and leave you stranded. You can gauge the level of protection your coolant offers by performing a diagnostic test with a multimeter.

Change your oil regularly

While changing your oil at the appropriate mileage markers is always a good idea, its especially important during the wintertime. Oil has a tendency to thicken when it gets cold out, which can affect your cars performance and potentially necessitate additional repairs.

Here are a few primary reasons you need to change your oil:

  • Newer oil is better at maintaining engine lubrication.
  • Newer oil is better at cooling the parts that make up your engine.
  • Newer oil is better at getting rid of particles and sludge in your engine.
  • Newer oil will improve your fuel economy and save you money.
  • Newer oil will make your hybrid vehicle last longer and increase the amount of time until you need to buy a replacement.

Check your tire pressure

When checking your pressure, you need to be concerned about both overinflation and underinflation.

Get your engine serviced

Should You Warm Up Your Car Before Driving

  • 30 September 2016

At Bemac, were all about keeping your car in top shape for as long as possible. In fact, if youre like most Canadians, youll keep your car going for years: 52% of our cars are 5 years old or older according to Stats Canada.

One thing people often do to help their cars last longer is warm it up before driving on cold winter mornings. Its supposed to help the car work better, prevent wear and tear on the engine, and even prevent stalling.

But theres been a lot of debate as to whether this actually works or not.

In this post, well look at what you should really be doing and why.

Benefits Of Warming Up Your Car: How Long Is Too Long

Physiologically speaking, the benefits of warming up your car are clear: When the temperatures drop into the single digits or into the negatives, driving isnt comfortable. On the other hand, mechanically speaking, the benefits of warming up your car arent so clear. When its cold outside, should you warm up your car? If so, how long should you warm up your car?

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How Long Do You Need To Warm Up Your Car

That howling wind outside portends that an especially cold day outside. Your poor car has been sitting in it, and you fear it may have trouble starting. Should you start it to let it warm up? Is that even necessary? What impact on the environment will idling your car have? Lets explore the topic.

Should I Let My Car Warm Up Each Morning

" How long should you allow for your vehicle

Is it best to let my car warm up in the morning when its really cold? Or does that just waste gas?

Logan WidmorePocatello, Idaho

Although you might think its easier on your car to let it sit and gently warm up, doing so is a bad idea for a number of reasons. Most importantly, it does indeed waste gas.

The vast majority of cars on the road today use electronic fuel injection. When your cars engine is cold, the computer tells the fuel injectors to stay open longer, allowing more fuel into the engine to help it run cold. As the engine warms up, the injectors let in less fuel and everything returns to normal, so to speak.

The best bet? Even when its 10 degrees F outside, start your car, let it run for 30 to 60 seconds to get all the fluids moving, then drive off gently. Your engine will warm up faster, your exhaust system will get up to temperature faster so the catalytic converter can do its thing, and youll use less fuel. Which is what you wanted all along anyhow, right?

Richard Backus, editor in chief, Gas Engine and Motorcycles Classics magazines

Originally Published: 10/1/2008 12:00:00 AM

Car engine warm up needed for car starting and generally we are focused for the best cars and the servicing point to be for that. So just for better service select the best alternative car station and the mechanics.

Hmmm… I wonder if my car friends agree…

Your are just plain dumb.

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Why You Dont Want To Leave Your Car Idling In The Cold

Its important to remember that, for every unnecessary moment you keep your car idling, you increase wear on your engine, you waste gas unnecessarily and you contribute to pollution. According to one study, vehicle idling contributes 1.6% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions almost twice as much as the entire iron and steel manufacturing industry!

On top of that, the practice of idling your car to warm up the engine contributes to vehicle theft: a car thats been left unattended while its warming can be stolen in less than 60 seconds. Also keep in mind that you should never idle your car in a closed garage, as the exhaust can build up while the car is running, increasing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Driving Your Car Will Warm It Up Quicker Than Idling

Of course, hopping into a cold car is never a fun task. Although driving your car will actually warm up your engine faster than idling, it still means driving for a period of time in a cold vehicle. And, it also means dealing with the frost on your car windows before they warm up. Fortunately, you can easily defrost your windows in 30 seconds with this simple car window defrosting trick.

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Idling Warms The Coolant Not The Oil

Lets rephrase that. Idling warms the engine coolant but it does a poor job of warming the oil compared to actually driving the vehicle. If youre concerned about getting good oil flow in extremely cold weather, driving with a light foot warms the oil much faster than idling.

Why idling doesnt warm the oil

Oils job is to lubricate, remove heat and keep metal parts from touching. As soon as the oil light goes out, youve got enough oil pressure in the engine to prevent metal parts from touching. When an engine is under load, oil friction creates heat and oil flow moves that heat away from engine parts. But an idling engine puts very little load on the oil which means idling friction creates little heat. So idling doesnt really warm your oil very well. In fact, its the least effective way to warm the oil.

Warming your oil warming by idling is even less effective in extremely cold temperatures. The oil picks up little heat in the engine before it drains back down into a cold sump. There its exposed to frigid temps that remove whatever heat it just accumulated.

In extremely cold weather the oil in the sump can lose more BTUs than it picked up when circulating through an idling engine.

newer engines use lower viscosity 0W-20 and 5W-20 oil that flows better than older 10W-30 oils when cold.

Idling loads the oil with gas

Mechanics Weigh In On How Long To Warm Up Vehicle During Winter

Should You Warm Up Your Car’s Engine Before Driving? Myth Busted

A cold winter day means many car owners let their cars warm up for five to ten minutes before hitting the road.

Joe Conant, the owner of Conant Automotive, says a car needs the time to warm up in order to run properly.

Start it up and tell me how that car sounds and how that power steering works, all that stuff, cause its all going to be frozen, Conant said.

Greg Vale, a Conant Automotive mechanic agrees and says hes worked on two cars who had issues because they were running without being warmed up enough.

Just like you wearing gloves your joints are cold and it’s hard to get everything moving when your joints are cold, he said. That extra two to three minutes that will definitely help.

Jim Ward, a Service Manager, with Smart Toyota Motors disagrees and says owners only need thirty seconds.

It actually is designed to warm up quicker by driving it, Ward said. If you drive it the way the fuel system works, the way the engine is going to warm up the quickest by getting in it and driving.

He also believes idling a car can shorten its life expectancy.

Were really talking about the difference between 250 thousand miles versus 350 thousand miles out of a car, Ward said.

The Environmental Protection Agency also recommends

to warm up.

Ward believes Wisconsinities warm up their car for personal convenience.

The reason people want to warm up a car is because they want to warm themselves up, he added.

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Why Carbureted Cars Need To Be Warmed Up Before Driving

Older engines in colder climates need to get as much lower viscous oil through the vehicles system as possible. In cold weather, gas doesnt evaporate as well so the liquid is more difficult to vaporize in lower temperatures.

When temperatures are low and the engine is cold the combustion will be uneven. The carburetor chokes off some of the air to compensate for the uneven combustion and will run richer fuel but less efficiently.

As the system heats up, the performance of the car starts to improve. Once the car is warm enough the fuel will vaporize and the car will idle smoothly. Since carbureted cars dont have the advanced sensors that modern vehicles do, you should always warm up the engine before you drive.

Should I Warm Up My Car In The Summer

Obviously your car will get up to operating temperature a lot quicker in the summer months than in the winter months. So is it important to warm up your car in the summer?

While its not as important to warm up your car during the summer months it is still a good idea to get your engine up to normal operating temperatures before you rev it to the higher rev ranges. Doing so will increase the lubrication of the internals of your engine and reduce the chances of engine wear.

BMW installed a temperature gauge on the tachometer of the E46 M3 that would light up in yellow and red indicating that the engine temp was still low and that you should not rev into that range. As the engine would get up to temperature the yellow bars will disappear indicating it is now safe to rev to that rev range.

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Engine Coolant Temperature Is Not An Indication Of Oil Temperature

Read that again. Coolant temperature is NOT an indication of OIL temperature!!

Your engine coolant may be up to operating temperature, but the 5 quarts of oil in you pan is still cold. Idling doesnt warm it. In fact, on a cold day, youll lose MORE oil heat by letting your engine idle than you will by DRIVING it.


Mazda Features That Can Help You Warm Up In The Cold

How Long Should You Warm Up Car Before Driving?

While only having your vehicle run for 30 seconds before getting in is recommended, you may dislike the cold temperatures still inside. However, Mazda offers a wide range of features that can help you warm up or cool down fairly quickly. Many of the latest 2021 models have available Heated and Ventilated seating. Plus, many of the models regardless of being a sedan or crossover come with the following features:

  • Rear Window De-Fogger
  • Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control with Pollen Filter
  • Power Sliding-Glass Moonroof with One-Touch-Open and Interior Sunshade
  • Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry System
  • Heated Second Row Seats
  • Heated Steering Wheel

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How To Warm Up Car Engine Faster

You can warm up the engine if your vehicle faster by driving around if you really need to get it warmed up in a hurry. If you need to get your car engine warmed up in a hurry you can drive around before it gets to full operating temperatures, but you should make sure that you are not revving your engine through its full rev range.

When you drive around before your engine reaches normal operating temperatures there may still be some risk to your internal engine components, but it should be fine for the most part. Just dont rev your engine out all the way until it has had a chance to properly warm up.

Experts Say You Should Warm Up Your Car For No Longer Than 30 Seconds

Are you in the habit of letting your engine idle? It’s a question dividing motorists as a campaign grows to reduce vehicle emissions. Removing engine idling time is like taking 1.6 million cars off the road.#UQ PhD candidate Claire Walter on

UQ News

According to the U.S. Department of Energys Energy Saver, In the winter, most manufacturers recommend driving off gently after about 30 seconds. The engine will warm up faster being driven, which will allow the heat to turn on sooner, decrease your fuel costs, and reduce emissions.

Remember, unless youre driving a 1964 Thunderbird, your technologically advanced vehicle wont blow a gasket backing out of the driveway before allowing the oil to flow faster.

However, Natural Resources Canada suggests warming up your car longer in freezing weather. With todays computer-controlled engines, even on cold winter days, usually, no more than two to three minutes of idling is enough warm-up time needed for the average vehicle before starting to drive, the Washington Post reported.

Energy Saver also suggests switching the engine off if youll be sitting for longer than 10 seconds. Idling can use a quarter to a half-gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner use, adding up to three cents of wasted fuel a minute, the site states. Whoever invented the auto idle stop function on newer vehicles deserves a Nobel Prize.

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Unlike Their Predecessors New Cars Hate To Idle

You know the old saying, Use it or lose it. Well, if you drive a vehicle manufactud after the Y2K hysteria, you might be losing more than you think. Allowing your car to idle continuously has some negative impacts, such as burning through oil faster. This results in the need for more frequent servicing and oil changes. It also drains the cars battery and causes spark plugs to go bad faster. In other words, unless you live in Oymyakon, your car has no seasonal preference.

Of course, if you own a Tesla Model 3, Ford Mustang Mach-E, or other EV, such archaic practices must seem a lifetime ago.

Why You Shouldnt Warm Up Your Car In The Winter

Should You Warm Up Your Car Before Driving?

When its frigid outside and you have to drive to some sort of destination, theres only one solution to fighting the ridiculous cold: Warm up the car. Just start it up a few minutes before hopping in, giving your cabin and your engine time to warm up before hitting the road. Plus, its supposed to be good for the life of your engine, right?

Wrong! Warming up your car in winter before driving it is actually terrible for your engine. According to Popular Mechanics, driving your car right away is the fastest way to warm up your engine, and will actually prolong the life of your engine instead of letting it sit idly before driving. Answering the old question on whether you should warm up your car.

The reasoning has to do with how modern internal combustion engines work. By letting your car sit to warm up, its actually putting extra fuel into the combustion chamber, which can get onto your cylinder walls. Because gasoline is an excellent solvent, too much on your cylinder walls can dissolve the oil that lubricates your cylinders, leading to shorter life on crucial components.

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Dont Confuse Oil Flow With Oil Pressure

FACT: In a stone cold engine, oil develops proper pressure within seconds

Oil pressure is what keeps metal parts from touching one another. Most oil pressure sensors are designed to turn off the oil light once oil pressure reaches a minimum of around 7-psi. Cold oil can easily reach minimum pressure within seconds of start-up. So youve got metal-to-metal contact protection almost immediately after starting a cold engine. What you dont have is great oil flow.

Oil Flow versus pressure causes great confusion

Cold oil doesnt flow as well as warm oil. Theres really not much dispute over that fact. The only question is What the best way to warm up oil so it can do its job?Well, its NOT by idling! Driving is the single best way to warm up oil.

How To Safely Set Off In Freezing Temps

Warm it up! (But just enough to get the defroster going so youre not peering though an ice-porthole as you drive.

Driving your car is the fastest way to warm the engine up to 40 degrees so it switches back to a normal air-to-fuel ratio. Even though idling sends warm air generated by the heater core into the cabin after a few minutes, idling does surprisingly little to warm the actual engine.

We asked Volvo, which conducts cold-weather testing in the Arctic, whether their new cars need any sort of warmup, and the answer was an ever-so-slightly-qualified no. “It’s best to just give the engine a few seconds to build oil pressure before driving normally,” a Volvo spokesperson explained. “Good oil quality and condition are crucial for protecting the engine in cold-start conditions.”

The best thing to do is start the car, take a minute to knock the ice off your windows, and get going. The obvious caveat here is that if it’s below freezing, you need to make sure your defroster is working before you leave your driveway. Don’t be the person peering through a porthole in your ice-covered windshield. Some cars, like certain Land Rovers, can expedite this process with electric heating elements in the glass.

TLDR:Turn the car on and scape any ice and snow off your carthat’s the extent of the engine warming you’ll need. Still, take the first few minutes of your drive nice and easy as the engine acclimates to the elements.

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