Do You Need to Warm Up Your Car in Winter?
Warming your car up on those cold winter mornings is a subject of intense debate. There are some who say that it is absolutely necessary, and others who argue that an idling engine can do no good, and that you can put the engine to work as little as thirty seconds after you turn that key. To settle the score once and for all, we’ve decided to answer the age-old question: do you need to warm your car up in winter?
The simple answer here is yes. Yes, you do need to warm your car up in winter, and you should keep it running for more than just 30 seconds before you take off—especially on extremely frigid mornings. There are a number of fluids that allow your vehicle to do what it does, and in cold weather, those fluids are not ready to go as soon as the engine starts. Just because it starts up, does not mean that it is ready to roll.
Think of a bottle of maple syrup. If you keep it in the refrigerator and attempt to dump some on your pancakes in the morning, the syrup is going to run slow because the cold temperature from the fridge causes it to tighten up. It makes it extremely viscous. The solution to this problem is to put the bottle in the microwave. The heat allows the syrup to relax and flow steadily from the bottle, making it easier to pour.
The fluids in your vehicle work the same way. The oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and other liquids that help to keep your car running properly all need to get some heat in order for them to flow the way that they should, and thirty seconds is not nearly enough for that warming period to come to fruition.
Various internet sources say that warming your car up is not necessary, but it definitely is. Without all of those fluids, your engine and other parts of the vehicle are running dry, that is, without lubrication, and without any fluids between the moving parts, there is potential for a lot of damage. Thankfully, that damage can be avoided by letting your car warm up for a few minutes before going on your merry way.
So, do you need to warm up your car in winter? Well, as long as it starts, you don’t technically have to, but if you want to avoid some costly repairs in the future, you may want to head outside a bit earlier than usual to get your vehicle started up. If the cold is keeping you from venturing out there earlier than you need to, we suggest that you look into getting a remote starter, which our service department can install for you.
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