How long should I let my car warm up?

This really just depends on the coldness of the air/water you are exposed to. you should warm up your car for about 2-5 minutes if it's winter or your engine was cold, and 10 seconds or less if it's summer. remember to put in fuel, push the clutch pedal down with your foot (s), shift gear (first gear is idle), turn off lights, set steering wheel position (straight ahead).

How long does a car need to warm up?

It depends on the temperature outside and the size of the car.

– on an exceptionally cold morning a small engine could take a couple hours.
– with a normal day which has a high up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it could take about 5 minutes.
– with optimal climate conditions, it may take as little as 20 seconds to 2 minutes if not more depending on battery level and warming up your engine before driving out of for winter for example.

Is warming up your car good or bad?

Warming up the engine, weakens the battery and makes it more likely to die.

warmer fluids can expand easier than colder fluids, which is why car engines are warmed-up before driving. this expansion means an increased chance your engine will break something when you first start driving it or making turns. the battery will weaken too because of the electrolyte freezing in cold weather conditions, causing acid levels to rise for instance–causing damage if it's not adequately maintained. but this doesn't apply to electric cars with no liquids in their systems.

Is there any benefit to warming up your car?

it's true that by starting your car and running for 5 minutes, you'll get the oil warm which makes it flow smoother. you may or may not experience some savings on engine wear if you drive an older car. however, this reasoning has fallen prey to more modern ideas about fuel efficiency (i.e., higher mileage) relative to gasoline prices (i.e., cheaper per gallon). so now it is better to start your vehicle up with a cold engine than “warm” the engine because of the decrease in emissions with a cold start cycle, saving money with decreased use of hydrocarbons at the gas pump.

(you can see how i tried to talk about efficiency)

What happens if you don't let your car warm up?

this is a common misconception and not the case. the fact that cars heat up, and that we put warm water into our bathtub doesn't mean our cars (or tubs) should do the same thing. cars work differently than our bodies do – namely because they generate their own warmth to keep the engine from freezing in cold weather.

think of your car like an insulated coffee cup or thermos – anything with layers between hot liquid and cold air to protect it (like these here). when you start frosting over on top, it's time for your best buddy coffee mug sacrificial jacket to zap those condensation puddles one more time before they drip all over everything!
sadly, cheap plastic costs more

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