Is It Right Warming Up Your Car Before Setting Off Or Wrong? Explained!

Though winter has come, the days are cold and the nights are getting colder. But is there any possibility to avoid your commutation? Of course not! While you can buy essentials, groceries, or even food online, you have to travel to work (for those that cannot work from home) and even for health care. In short, you have to start your vehicle in these cold temperatures.

But, in the case of winter driving, there is a common belief about vehicles. It is idling briefly before shifting into gear. Though it is a trick usually advised by the older generation.

In these modern days, technology has changed, and the demand has changed too. But if you are among those who still think about warming up their vehicles a bit before moving, there might be a confusion that needs clarification.

What makes a car to warm up?

Car engine misfire

Carburettor-equipped older vehicles typically require some warm-up time before moving. But why do they need this? Carburettors are a device that has the responsibility to control the air-fuel mixture inside the engine, and they cannot accurately adjust the air-to-fuel ratio, especially in the winter.

As a result, some gasoline would remain in the engine as a liquid rather than being burned off during combustion when it was cold because carburettors couldn’t vaporise all the gasoline they allowed into the engine.

This requires a carburettor to warm up before it can function properly to avoid stalling out.

Why isn’t warming up required in newer vehicles?

car sound

Manufacturers are constantly evolving, and one such innovation in automobile engineering is the electric fuel injection system, which allows for the most efficient management of an air-fuel mixture during the combustion process.

On a chilly day, warming the car up is not necessary because of this addition. Regardless of the weather outside, the sensors in your car’s electronic fuel injection system are continuously controlling the air-fuel ratio.

Automobiles with electrical fuel injection systems do not idle before shifting into gear and moving. This implies that you are free to act quickly during those chilly days and are no longer required to abide by the outdated rules. Winter engine oil is one thing, though, about which you must be certain.

There is engine oil available that specially work for winter. In case you are not sure about the car oil change, whether your car is loaded, or what is appropriate for the winter, consult with an expert at Service My Car.

Look at these technicalities: why should you avoid idling?

car ecm faliure

Though it might not be convincing because warming up a cold vehicle seems too rational, there are a few points to make it clear that idling is not a need in modern vehicles, and why can it damage your car?

Idling in a cold climate is not good for your car’s engine

As strange as it may sound, idling is less useful if you do not drive a carburettor-equipped vehicle. Idling provides enough acceleration to allow engine oil to circulate properly. This only results in depriving critical components of lubrication and making things more abrasive.

The cylinders or pistons are the critical components that are more susceptible to damage. Damage does not occur suddenly rather, it occurs gradually.

Longer idling results in more fuel waste

The problem is more severe in countries that experience more cold. Natural Resources Canada, the energy and resources agency, conducted an experiment to learn about freezing. It took three cars and froze them up to -18 degrees Celsius. Then, they drove these cars the same distance multiple times. However, these cars were idled at various times before travelling a set distance.

The results were definitely surprising when they notice that the longer the idling produces more fuel wastages.
The test results revealed that total fuel consumption increased with a 5-minute warm-up by 7 to 14 percent and with a 10-minute warm-up by 12 to 19 percent, according to agency reports.

Things stay colder under the hood

This is a common misconception about a car: that it can warm up just by driving or idling for a few minutes. However, depending on the circumstances, a car takes anywhere from five to fifteen minutes.

So there is no point in idling a car for half a minute and then pressing the accelerator.

You are polluting things a bit more

car exhust

Despite doing your car a favour, you are just making things worse for nature. In case you idle for no apparent reason, the engine works harder than usual. Fuel burns, and greenhouse gas emissions rise.

So there’s no point in listening to the old wives’ tales about warming up your car by idling it briefly before driving away. Now, these things do not bother me enough, but at some point, this misconception, along with other problems, might force you to go for car engine repair prematurely. If you need any type of car service & repair, service my car provides you free pickup and delivery at the nearest bmw specialist center.

Nevertheless, if you need any help with car maintenance, contact Service My Car on our app by booking a car service. You can also order a car repair quote on our website or app anytime.