Do You Need To Warm Up Your Engine In The Winter?


A common piece of advice that is passed around at this time of year is that it is absolutely necessary to warm up your vehicle prior to driving in cold weather. This used to be necessary with older models of vehicles, but with the advent of newer technologies in the 90s, it’s less important than most people assume.


In older vehicles, the carburetor was a component that would mix gasoline and air to allow it to be used in an internal combustion engine. Because of the inexact and variable nature of this mixture, older cars needed to idle and warm up before going on their way. If they did not, functionality could be affected, including gas mileage and the smooth motions of the pistons in the engine.


In modern vehicles however, the introduction of electronic fuel injection almost completely negates this old habit. This is because electronic fuel injectors are equipped with specialized sensors that measure temperatures and adjust fuel and air mixtures accordingly. This ensures that your vehicle quickly adjusts to the outdoor temperatures.


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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