To warm your car or not during cold weather? Here is what experts say

Your parent, coworkers or even friends will always advise you to warm up your vehicle if you leave it outside during the cold weather. It is an old story that still finds relevance in the modern auto world.

But is this true?

The technical aspect

A majority of vehicles that dotted the roads before and during 1995 ran on a device called a carburetor. Its purpose was to combine air and fuel. Back then, it was essential that you leave your car running for a few minutes before you could drive. This ensured the engine would run smoothly.

Come the 1990s and cars used fuel injection technology, which replaced the carburetor. Therefore, it was no longer necessary to idle your car so that your engine warms up. But still, many drivers stick to the old practice of warming up their cars.

Experts are torn on what to do

Coquitlam Auto experts are not helping with what to do. Some argue that your car is ready to instantly run once the ignition key is on. Other car repair shops advise a few minutes idling for engines to run well.

Who is right?

The proposers’ reasons for idling

·         Oil is like blood to the car engine and it should be in “palatable” from before running. When the temperatures plummet, oil and other fluids are affected. It is therefore logical to let your car idle for a few minutes after it spends an entire night in the cold.

·         Fluids thicken in the cold weather. This is an obvious conclusion and hence you should idle you car for at least 60 seconds.

·         You will be cutting your engine life short. Experts argue that letting the cold oil running into your engine does a lot of damage than good. If you are regularly driving in the cold weather, your engine life will fall by 20% in one winter season.

The opposers’ reasons against idling

·         It is a myth. While the cars made before the early 1990s would have benefitted from engine idling, the modern car is way past that. Those who still use idling technique to warm up their cars are stuck in the past and should have moved on long time ago.

·         Idling is a waste of gas. It is no brainer that you are using gas as you wait for your engine to warm up. You could have gone a mile or two instead of idling. The environmental protection agency joins in support for this opinion.

·         It takes milliseconds for oil to heat up while driving at full speed. If you could drive at full speed, your engine would warm up much faster than idling.

While experts do not give a unanimous view on idling, both camps agree that you should take it easy on the first few minutes driving a car that spend the night in the cold. They recommend a maximum speed of 45mph for the first ten minutes of your driving.