Winter is upon us, and with it the ever present question of how to treat your vehicle when that thermometer dips down to the scary-cold scale. Many folks let their cars run anywhere from 1-10 minutes to get the old engine running well when the snow is on the ground, but is that necessary? Keep reading to answer the eternal question “Do I have to warm my car up in the cold?”
Depends on the age of your vehicle
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Reasons to Idle Your Car (Briefly) This Winter
All that said, there are a few reasons to let your car run a little bit before zooming off this winter.
- Waiting about 30 seconds allows the oil in your engine to warm up and flow where it needs to go before you put stress on the engine.
- Turning the engine (and the defrost) on while you are getting ice and snow off the windows.
- Warming up the interior so you don’t freeze while you drive.
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There are a lot of reasons to let you car sit, but know that as far as the engine goes, a 5 minute (or longer) idling period is unnecessary and will just cost you money in gas.