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Should You Warm Up Your Engine Before Driving?

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Why Warming Your Engine Up is not a Good Idea
Many people wonder whether they should warm up their engine before they drive on a cold day. Some people choose to warm up their car 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 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.
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 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.