Why Warming Your Engine Up is not a Good Idea

Many people wonder whether they should warm up their engines before they drive on a cold day. Some people choose to warm up their cars because they think that it will prolong the life of their engine. However, experts have stated that this is not true.
Gasoline is less likely to evaporate when the engine is cold. The best thing that you can do to warm up your engine is to drive your car. However, it is important to note that driving your car fast can put an unnecessary strain on your engine. That is why you will need to drive less than 45 miles per hour for the first five to 10 minutes. Driving too fast when the engine is cold can cause damage to it.

Breaking the "Car Warming" Myth

The belief that a car engine should be warmed up before the vehicle is driven has been around for several years. In the past, cars were warmed up for a good reason. Before the 1990s, carburetor engines were predominately used in cars. You had to let an older car warm up before you drove it in cold weather because the car would stall. However, carburetor engines are not used in today's vehicles. The fuel injection method eliminates the need for a carburetor. That is why it is not necessary to warm up the engine.
The Buick Estate Wagon and Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, which both made their debut in 1990, were two of the last vehicles to use carburetors. Therefore, unless you have a car that was built before 1990, it probably does not have a carburetor engine. Your engine needs to reach a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Warming your car up will not help your engine reach that temperature faster. The best way for your engine to reach that temperature is for you to drive your car.

What the Experts Say

Experts have stated that modern engines are designed in a way that will warm up faster while driving than they would if the car was sitting. The Environmental Protection Agency has stated that warming up a car before you drive it is not only useless, but it is also wasteful. Energy.gov and the Environmental Protection Agency have stated that a car should not be left idle for more than 30 seconds.
There are also some laws that make it illegal for you to leave your car idle for more than a few minutes. Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and New York are some of the cities that have this type of regulation. If your car is left idle in one of those cities, then you may be charged a fine. The purpose of these laws is to prevent your car from getting stolen.

Benefits of not Warming up Your Car Engine

Every car has a catalytic converter. The catalytic converter is designed to car pollution by up to 90 percent. However, your catalytic converter does not work properly until the engine has warmed up. This means that if you leave your car running and walk away from it, then you will be emitting more pollution into the air.
It is also important to note that warming up your car can also be dangerous if your car is inside of a garage that is attached to your home. Carbon monoxide could enter your home without you knowing it. You waste money by warming up your car. There was a study done by Energy Policy that showed Americans waste $5.9 billion in fuel because of idle cars. You waste money every second that your car is left idle.
When your car is left idle for a long period of time, fuel residue has a tendency to build up inside of the engine. The more fuel you waste, the more residue will build up inside of your engine. This can lead to a reduction in mileage. It can also lead to poor engine performance. Additionally, this can reduce the lifespan of your engine.
Furthermore, idling cars are responsible for about 1.6 percent of the greenhouse gases. Pollution reduces air quality and creates smog. Air quality could be drastically improved if more people would stop warming up their cars before they got in them.
Contact Creech Import Repair Today!

Hand with wrench. Mechanic. Auto repair shop.

Driver's License - Everyone with a driver's license and a car knows auto repair costs can be high: the average repair bill in the U.S. comes to $305.56. But the reality is that not keeping up with auto repairs and maintenance can turn out to be even more costly. The longer you put off a repair, the more the problem is likely to grow. Plus, the bill for accidents caused by unperformed maintenance tops a whopping $2 billion every single year. It’s important you remember that doing basic maintenance and repairs is simply part of the cost of owning a car.

That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t do anything to keep auto repair costs down. There are some auto repair services that it’s simply not worth doing on your own; given that synthetic oil now only needs to be changed every 7,000 to 10,000 miles, for example, you probably won’t save enough to make changing your own oil worth it (especially since you’ll need to buy specialized equipment and probably pay disposal fees for the contaminated oil). But there are certain skills all drivers should have, both for financial and safety reasons. Here are five of the most important:

  1. Maintaining Tire Pressure:

    You need to keep a tire pressure gauge in your car, know how to read it, and actually add air to your tires if they’re low. You might not be used to doing this task because it’s generally included in your annual inspection at the auto shop, but tire pressure actually tends to significantly change at least twice a year. Underinflated tires can lead to accidents, so it’s important you do regular checks in between professional service.

  2. Measuring Tread Depth:

    Knowing when to get new tires is essential for safety. Your treads should never be shallower than 2/32 of an inch, but 4/32 of an inch is a safer margin.

  3. Checking Fluid Levels:

    The tanks for all the basic fluids that keep your car running as it should are designed to be accessible, so it doesn’t take much to pop the hood and get familiar with them. Keep an eye not only on levels but also on quality; if your brake fluid looks like motor oil, for example, that’s a sign you need to take the car in to have the brake lines flushed. Brake repairs may not be cheap, but they’re a lot cheaper than totaling your car because your brakes stop working.

  4. Changing a Lightbulb:

    It’s important to fix burned-out head, tail and brake lights as soon as possible so your car is always visible. While the process is slightly different for lights in the front and back of your car (going through the engine compartment vs. removing the lens), either will probably take only a few minutes once you consult your owner’s manual for instructions.

  5. Putting on Wiper Blades:

    You can probably have your auto repair shop take care of this whenever you’re due for an oil change, but it’s a good idea to know-how in case your wipers wear out to the point of limiting visibility and you need to change the blades ASAP. Just slide the old blade off and click the new one into place -- it gets easier with practice.

What basic maintenance do you prefer to perform yourself in order to keep auto repair costs down, and what would you rather leave to the pros? Join the discussion in the comments. Lastly, we hope this article about auto skills and owning a driver's license has helped you.