Should you let your car warm up in winter?
We are in the firm grips of winter’s numbing cold, which means it’s time to argue should you let your car warm up in winter again. We’ll dive into all the gritty details and provide you with a concrete answer once and for all.
Is it bad to drive a car when the engine is cold?
In the days of carbureted cars, not only was it bad, it was nearly impossible. The fuel mixture at cold temperatures just wouldn’t allow old engines to run properly. Many engines had workarounds, but still, when the temperature was sub-zero, you were stuck warming it up if you got it to start at all.
Modern fuel-injected cars don’t suffer from this problem. In fact, it’s entirely possible to start your engine and throw it in drive, even when the temperatures are well below zero. Just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s wise though.
Can you just get in your car and go when it’s cold?
Even when it’s warm, it’s ideal to let your engine run for at least 30 seconds before you put any kind of load on it, but when it’s cold letting your engine run becomes even more important. The fluids in your engine and transmission and even your gasoline should be allowed to warm up a bit before your engine gets any kind of load.
This is important especially from a lubrication standpoint. Your engine and transmission need to be properly lubricated at all times, especially when you have your foot on the gas or the engine is experiencing any kind of a load.
Letting your car warm up will increase the longevity of your engine, and thereby increasing the longevity of your car. If you absolutely have to drive your car right away, then at least try to avoid any loads. Keep the speed under 30 mph, and avoid going up any hills. In some areas, this is going to be all but impossible.
Read More: What coolant does your Chevy use?
How long should you let your car warm up?
Five to ten minutes is all your car should need. When it’s really cold, this may not be enough to get the cabin warm, but it should be enough to at least get those precious lubrication fluids circulating properly. If you have a temperature gauge in your car, a good rule of thumb is to wait until the temperature needle moves up. As soon as it’s not buried at the bottom of the gauge anymore, you should be good to go.