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Do you need to warm up your car before driving it?

By blogsadmin | Posted in General Information, Service & Maintenance, Tips & Tricks on Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 at 8:00 am
Do you need to warm up your car before driving it?

Warming Your Car Before Driving Myth 

Do you need to warm up your car before driving it in the cold?  Or is it just a myth?  Don’t worry, we have the extremely sought-after answer to this head-scratching question. 

It used to be that carburetors relied on your vehicle idling for several minutes in order to reach operating temperatures and run smoothly.  That is no longer the case though.  With fuel-injected engines, vehicles can now idle perfectly, even in sub-zero temperatures!  So, now you don’t have to idle your car for 20 minutes in the morning before you start driving. 

Preparing Your Car for the Cold

car covered in snowYou DO NOT Need to Warm Up Your Car Before Driving 

It turns out that letting your car idle for long periods of time in the cold can actually damage your car.  Raw gasoline will seep into the oil and break down the oil’s lubrication abilities when you let your car idle.  When this happens, your car’s engine will begin to experience wear and tear, leading to a number of problems.  This is also why it is very important to watch your oil and other fluid levels, especially during the winter.  Many mechanics will recommend having an oil change or flushing your fluids as the season starts to change. 

Now for what you should do.  All you need to do is start your car like normal.  The general idea is to warm your car up for no more than 30 seconds before you start to drive.  This allows you to double check and clear your windows so that there is plenty of visibility.  By just starting your vehicle and then driving, your engine will warm faster.  Which in turn lets the heat come out of your vents quicker—and isn’t that the real goal? 


If you have any questions or concerns about your car’s upkeep in the winter, you can contact our expert service staff online or by calling 855-447-5847. 

Schedule a Service Appointment at Indy Honda

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