Do you believe that you are supposed to warm up your car before driving on a cold day? If so, you are not alone. Many people hold fast to the idea that they should be giving their vehicle several minutes of run time before getting behind the wheel. In reality, this is simply not true. In fact, there are several reasons why starting your car before you are ready to begin driving is a bad idea. The team at Wayne Overhead Door Sales & Home Improvements are happy to bring you the following advice.
Where Did This Idea Originate?
Like so many modern-day myths, this concept of "warming up" your car is rooted in fact. In previous decades, most cars relied upon a carburetor to run. A carburetor works by mixing gas and air into a combustible form, which provides the numerous tiny explosions that move the engine's pistons to power the vehicle. When the weather is very cold, a carburetor can have difficulty getting the mix of gas and air just right, and the engine can stall out. Warming up the car would help ensure that the carburetor could perform its function. However, by the late 1980s and 1990s, most vehicles were being manufactured with fuel injectors, which use temperature sensors to operate properly no matter the external temperature. So, while it may have once been a good idea to let your car sit idling in the driveway for a few minutes before heading out, that is no longer the case.
What is the Optimal Warm-Up Time for Modern Vehicles?
Today's cars warm up sufficiently while driving, not idling. Auto industry experts recommend no more than 30 seconds of idle time prior to getting in gear and hitting the road. The vehicle will warm up more effectively and without wasting fuel while being driven, even in cold weather. More importantly, there are no adverse effects from driving your car or truck with little-to-no warm-up time.
Can Excessive Idling Harm a Vehicle?
When a car is left idling for longer lengths of time, there is a risk that gas can seep into the motor oil. That will degrade the oil, and compromise the oil's lubricating power. Diluted oil can cause serious wear and tear on your engine, and can eventually lead to an expensive repair.
What are the Other Consequences of Warming Up Your Car?
Perhaps the most compelling reason to avoid excessive idling time (both while warming up a car or letting it idle in traffic or a carpool line) is the emissions that are produced. In fact, a study completed in 2009 found that vehicle idling among American drivers is responsible for as much as 1.6 percent of American greenhouse gas emissions.
At Wayne Overhead Door Sales & Home Improvements, our team is always here to answer any questions that you may have concerning general home improvement projects, including garage door installation and repair. We have been serving customers in the Dayton and surrounding area since 1965, and we look forward to meeting you and your family and building a professional relationship that will last for many years to come.