Pros and Cons of Warming Up Your Car

When the temperature drops and frost welcomes us in the morning, more and more Americans are finding themselves asking should I warm up my car before driving?  While no one likes to get into a chilly vehicle, it’s important to know that warming up your car, good or bad, could have lasting impacts on your vehicle’s overall condition. So, before you press that remote start button, consider is preheating car in winter a good idea. While there are benefits of warming up your car on cold winter days, it is equally important to understand what happens if you don’t warm up your car before driving.

Stepping into a car warm up in winter makes being in the vehicle more tolerable.  However, it’s important to limit how long you preheat your vehicle.  Sometimes driving with a cold engine may actually be the wiser choice. Let us tell you why.

Before the advent of fuel-injection engines, when vehicles depended on the carburetor to properly blend the air and fuel to the proper ratio for optimum efficiency, driving with a cold engine was not recommended. The carburetor effects on not pre warming your car up could lead to stall outs So allowing a car warm up in winter for 5 to 10 minutes helped avoid this dilemma.  Today, nearly every vehicle on the road is equipped with a fuel-injector, which regulates the mix of air and fuel, no matter the weather. Now allowing your vehicle to warm up more than a minute or two is actually detrimental. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Saver, “In the winter, most manufacturers recommend driving off gently after about 30 seconds. The engine will warm up faster being driven, which will allow the heat to turn on sooner, decrease your fuel costs, and reduce emissions” ( 5, 2021).

We have several tips to pre warm your car in winter in nj that will make your driving experience.  These tips should make your experience more comfortable without jeopardizing your vehicle’s fuel economy and your engine life while reducing your carbon foot print at the same time.

Preset your comfort controls – Before you step out of your vehicle the night before, preset your comfort controls for your cabin, seats and steering wheel (if available) and defrosters for both front and rear windshields.  When you start the vehicle, they will already be set to achieve your ideal comfort level and begin to defrost the glass.

Set Timer Reminder – Plan on not having your vehicle idol on a cold start for more than one minute before entering the car.  Having a timer or alarm set will keep you aware of how long your vehicle has been running.

Dress for the Weather – Even a heated steering wheel needs time to heat up, so make sure you wear gloves and a warm coat before stepping out for the day.  Once your vehicle has warmed up, it is easy to shed the gloves and unzip your outer layer.

Drive slow and steady – Once you’ve allowed the vehicle to warm up for 30 seconds, drive at a reasonable speed for the next few minutes before attempting to go faster.

However, if you find that your vehicle is not responding like you feel it should when you are driving in harsh winter weather, come in and let our professionally trained experts examine your vehicle.  Our team has been serving the Hunterdon County, NJ, Buck County, Pa, Bridgewater, Edison, Princeton, Hamilton, Somerset County and Mercer County areas for the past 45 years.  So, no matter if you drive a Ford, Lincoln, Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Infiniti, Infiniti Q50, Infiniti Q60, Infiniti QX50, Infiniti QX55, Infiniti QX60, Infiniti QX80, Infiniti models NJ, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Subaru, Honda, Jaguar or Land Rover know that taking care of you and your vehicle.