Warming Up Your Car: Is It Necessary?

Tire Balancing Tips
September 22, 2017
Why Should I Check My Tire Pressure?
November 9, 2017

Do You Need to Warm Up Your Car In the Cold?

It’s finally getting cold in Lynchburg. Like, REALLY cold! You probably remember when you were younger your parents would run out and warm up the car before trying to drive anywhere. They were not only warming it up on the inside, they were seriously concerned that the engine may stall and not go anywhere at all.

Well the truth of the matter is that for all intents and purposes those days are over.  Unless your car dates from the 1980s, there is no reason to warm it up before you take off. At least not for the sake of the engine.  Cars from that era had carburetors, and if the carburetor got too cold, it simply didn’t work the way it should.

Fortunately, the last carburetor-equipped car sold in the US was back in 1990. Newer vehicles have electronic fuel-injection systems, which use sensors to keep the ratio of air and fuel just right. These don’t have a problem with cold temperatures, so while it’s ok for you to go ahead and warm the car up a little before you take off, that’s entirely for your benefit and not your engine. Although according to fuel-efficiency advice by the EPA and the DOE: “Most manufacturers recommend driving off gently after about 30 seconds”, so now you have a good excuse!