When it’s cold outside, like really cold and you don’t want to hop into a cold car, you take your remote and crank it up! Let it sit there running getting all cozy inside. This is also the best thing for the engine right?
Wrong! Warming up your car in winter before driving it is actually terrible for your engine. According to Popular Mechanics, driving your car right away is the fastest way to warm up your engine, and will actually prolong the life of your engine instead of letting it sit idly before driving. Answering the old question on whether you should warm up your car.
The reasoning has to do with how modern internal combustion engines work. By letting your car sit to warm up, it’s actually putting extra fuel into the combustion chamber, which can get onto your cylinder walls. Because gasoline is an excellent solvent, too much on your cylinder walls can dissolve the oil that lubricates your cylinders, leading to shorter life on crucial components.
Now if warming up your car in winter is actually terrible for your engine, why did people even do this in the first place? According to USA Today, this practices comes from the use of cars with carburetors fuel delivery system that preceded fuel injection that did require warming up beforehand. Some people would have to wait up to 10 minutes before even getting into a car, deeming it safe enough to drive with a warmed up engine. Nevertheless, cars and technology have drastically changed since the 1960s, which means this old practice is no longer required.
Instead, just give it a minute and start with an easy drive. Flooring it right away obviously isn’t the solution, but easing yourself into a drive will help to warm your engine faster than you originally thought.