Should You Warm Up Your Car In Winter?

Engine

The answer to the age-old question depends on a few variables.

Now that a bomb cyclone has blanketed a decent chunk of the country with a coat of white powder and temperatures so low that existing anywhere outside of the confines of a heated structure is unfeasible, it’s a good time to answer an important question about our most favorite of heated structures: the automobile. Namely, should you warm your car up in winter? It’s a good time to ask too now that most automakers are installing remote start functions on their cars to make the process easier.

Either the push of a button on the key fob or a signal sent via a smartphone app is all it takes to bring a car to life, but the irony is that nowadays, cars simply don’t need the same kind of warming period that they once did.

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Engineers think of it all, making it so that a car can run just fine in sub-zero temperatures without being warmed first. But that doesn't mean that some situations are better dealt with using a pre-warmed car when a gentle drive is not an option. The key word here is gentle. According to what Team O’Neil Rally tells us, the answer to our big question all depends on location. In rural areas where it’s easy to drive gently and be “Mother Teresa behind the wheel,” warming your car up by actually driving it is a solid way to go. On the other hand geographic locations with hills or high speed traffic—pretty much anything that causes a driver to work the car harder—are traversed more effectively by a fully warmed car.

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