Pros and Cons of Warming Up Your Vehicle for Winter Driving

Winter Driving
So what does this mean?

One of the advice you may be hearing from your friends, parents and co-workers is that you need to warm up your car before driving, especially when it is cold outside.

But, is that even really true?

If you consider older car versions, especially the ones that were manufactured before 1995, these vehicles actually used carburetor – the device which combines air and fuel. However, at present, the need for carburetor has already been eliminated because of the switch to a fuel injection method in the year 1980’s and 1990’s.

So what does this mean?

Winter Driving

For a vehicle that is still using a carburetor, it was still needed for the car to stay idle before driving it. This is to make sure that the engine will be running properly. But for the modern cars that most people are using today, there is no need for the engine to be warmed up when it is cold outside.

The thing is that many car owners, even experts are torn between these issues because some people would say that the car can just be driven immediately, and others will say that the cars need to be idle for a couple of minutes in order to get the oil flowing.

While there are many conflicting answers to the question of whether the car should be warmed up before being driven, here are the pros and cons to help you weigh the best option.

With cold weather and low, freezing temperature, chances are the oil which is supposed to be covering or coating your engine parts will be settling at the bottom of the oil pan. And then, because of the cold temperature, it becomes more difficult for the oil to flow and that it means it will take longer time for the oil to reach places it needs to be. This can be remedied by spending at least 5 minutes in the morning to warm up your second hand vehicle and get the engine back on track. For the modern types of vehicles, this may not be a very common problem but it is still highly recommended for the driver to drive slowly for the first few minutes.

Why would anyone want to warm their car? One of the biggest reasons why people want to warm up their cars before they even hit the road is comfort, because who would like to start their journey while feeling like they are inside an ice box? Spending a few minutes to allow the air to circulate will provide a much more comfortable experience to the car owner or driver.

While it is nice to feel comfortable, there are also a few disadvantages or bad reasons for why you need to be careful about how you run your car. Number one reason is because of your safety. When you run the engine inside your garage, it will emit a poisonous gas, carbon monoxide. This is toxic when inhaled and it won’t take long before it completely fills out the entire vehicle or garage.

Aside from releasing this poisonous gas to your surroundings, you are also wasting your own gas when you preheat your car. In fact, you are throwing away an extra 12 percent in wasted fuel. And if that is not enough money you will be wasting, you might just end up losing your entire vehicle if you are not being careful.

Another important thing you need to bear in mind is that excessive idling can actually be detrimental to the components of your vehicle including the exhaust systems, spark plugs, and cylinder. The fuel does not undergo complete combustion process because your engine does not work at maximum performance when idling. This eventually results in fuel residue on the cylinder walls which is not good for your spark plugs and oil.

If you spend more time idling, the higher chances of the spark plug temperature to drop and it will get dirtier quickly and increase your fuel consumption. Excessive idling also leads to a shorter life for your exhaust system. And apart from all these negative impacts to your vehicle, idling is also said to be associated with global warming and more health problems to individuals.


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