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Should I Warm Up My Car’s Engine Before Driving?

“Should I warm up my car engine before driving off?” This question is common among drivers across America. For Pacific Northwest dwellers, it comes up every winter. During this period, balmy temperatures turn cold and there’s a flurry of rain storms. So, keeping one’s car running at top condition becomes a concern. Yet, warming up a car does more harm than good.

Cold Weather Car Tips

3 Reasons You Should NOT Warm Up Your Car’s Engine When It’s Cold

You waste gas.

The average Joe checks gas prices on a regular basis hoping to fill up for less. Thus, it’s important to understand that warming up a car wastes this precious liquid. How? Idling a car in low temperatures causes more fuel to flow into the engine. As a consequence, you use extra gas versus getting into your car and driving off.

The engine doesn’t run better.

The fuel injector, device pushing gas into a car engine, works regardless of temperature. It doesn’t function at a higher level in hot weather. This statement is true about other engine parts. People drive in varying climates. Automakers take this fact into consideration when manufacturing cars. Your only advantage – wheels work better when ice and water aren’t covering them.

Vehicle wear and tear increases.

Over an extended period, warming up a car leads to engine wear and tear. Because of the increased use of fuel, the carburetor clogs. Also, supporting mechanisms fail sooner. The cost for repair can be minuscule or expensive. So, in other words, an act meant to make a car run in a more efficient manner has the opposite effect.

So, what should you do to get a car running on a cold morning?

Most auto experts agree that it’s okay to run your car for 30 to 60 seconds, de-ice the exterior and drive away. Unless you own the same type of vehicle as your great-great grandfather, no other activity is a must. Modern cars work at optimum levels without much effort from their owners. For more information on this topic, contact your local Mac’s Automotive and Radiator Repair Shop. A mechanic can answer more questions and also check the health of your vehicle as the seasons change.



Mac's Radiator is the best mechanic to help you with all of your mechanic needs!  Let Macs help you - we are located in 6 convenient locations, for when you need us close to home, or when you're on the road.  



Portland, OR      (503) 777-4706
Beaverton, OR  (503) 646-2943
Bend, OR            (541) 382-6963
Boise, ID            (208) 344-1722
Eugene, OR        (541) 344-0253
Salem, OR          (503) 364-7129

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