Engineer Explains Why Warming Your Car Before Driving In Winter Is Pointless

Engineer Explains Why Warming Your Car Before Driving In Winter Is Pointless

August is finally with us and that means it’s the height of summer. Therefore us Brits are probably just a few weeks away from winter taking hold.

With that in mind we thought we’d share this video from the fascinating YouTube channel Engineering Explained. The super smart presenter makes videos explaining the ins and outs of how cars work, so if you’ve ever wanted to know something his channel can probably answer it for you.

Anyway, on to the subject of cold starts. People often leave their car idling in the driveway on a cold day to get the engine warm before they leave. This uses unnecessary fuel and can make you a target for thieves.


Is this necessary for engine protection? The basic answer is that no, if you have a fuel injected car – and all modern cars have fuel injection – you don’t need to warm your car up before you drive it away.

The problem with a cold engine is that it can increase wear on the components, so you want to get it up to temperature as quickly as possible. Since leaving the car at idle warms the engine slowly, you’re actually better off driving straight away to get the oil up to operating temperature quickly.

Mr EE suggests waiting about 30 seconds just to let the engine’s fluids flow through the engine, but anything longer than that is unnecessary. Oh, and don’t just hoon it straight away, either. Take it easy until the dials say everything’s up to temperature.

So there you have it. When winter comes around, just jump in and drive!

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