Is It Wise To Warm Up Your Vehicle In The Winter

Winter is the season where people in Canada and the USA have to deal with freezing temperatures and often times we feel the cold inside our cars too. Based on where you reside and also to our chagrin, most mornings are spent scraping off frost and or snow from your previous night’s chill or storm from your car windshield.

But, are these claims really cost-effective or beneficial for the vehicle? Let’s discover the nuances linked to what would seem to be an easy method.

Should I let my car engine warm up?

Regardless of the season and based on how new or old your vehicle is, you might notice that after starting out your car engine, it runs several thousand RPM’s for a while. On newer automobiles, this step belongs to the engine control unit (ECU) to prepare your car for driving.

Generally speaking, this minor revving up allows the oil to lubricate the vital areas of the engine before it endures the harshness of daily driving. Old vehicles, particularly the ones with carburetor engines may take up to few minutes, usually between 1 or 2 minutes. For diesel engines, it is best to read the owner’s manual for further instructions.

You could be wondering why I pointed out how the engine gets warm. In a few words, the warm-up procedure for your engine one is more than sufficient and safe for the engine, even just in winter months time. This applies in case you are a person that starts up your car on a cold winter morning and lets it sit for more ten minutes. However, there is no reason to if you might be worried about your engine. An engine is just not as sensitive to cold as the human body is. When you warm your vehicle up only for personal comfort, you are more likely to waste your precious gasoline.

Just how much gas/diesel is wasted at idle?

There are lots of variables when calculating the amount of fuel your vehicle wastes at idle. However, for simplicity’s sake, if you allow a V8 engine and also a V6 engine to sit at idle for equal amounts of your time, the V8 will probably waste more gas while idling. Approximately 17.2 percent of fuel is wasted while an automobile idles. Remember that this statistic is based on everyday driving (i.e. stop lights, stop signs and congested zones). In the winter though, this statistic rises, especially for people who warm their cars up for relatively longer than the engine requires.

Sacrifice could save you cash

Taking in consideration the above statements, what else could you do if you wish to cut costs on gas? As mentioned, considering how old your vehicle is, you’re only going to need up to two minutes for the most part before your car engine is warm enough to safely operate.

Now, we are firmly aware that scraping off your windshield in subzero temperatures in early in the morning isn’t exactly an open-air picnic, but in these times of economic crises, when every dollar counts, adjusting several simple morning winter habits may help you save some cash.

If you would like to reduce your cost (as well as the environment), try scraping off your windshield or removing the previous night’s snow before starting your engine. It’s understandable if you are still struggling to see properly and get your engine warm enough to permit your defroster to clean the windshield.

As far as clearing your auto of visual impediments, I suggest buying a warm set of gloves to keep you warm until your vehicle reaches the required temperature. This is particularly important if you have a manual transmission using a metal shift knob or perhaps a steering wheel that retains an unpleasant quantity of cold.

You might suffer a little more if you follow the following tips, but you might shock yourself at just how many more km you can make with the same gas tank.

Eno is the founder of Sell My Car. The idea was simple. We wanted to offer the public an easier, friendlier and fairer way of selling their car.

Comments (3)


  1. Graco Double Stroller says:

    Huh that was weird, my comment got eaten. Anyway I wanted to tell you that it’s good to see that somebody else also mentioned this as I had trouble finding the same info elsewhere. Yours was the first place that shed some light on this subject for me. Thank you.

  2. Robbie Bos says:

    Is it wise to warm up your vehicle in the winter…

    Too many words missing to make proper sense of this article. Seems to have added words and/or missing words.

    Is it possible to correct the english and the double space bars, and re-post?


  3. Thanks for letting us know.

Leave a Reply