Why One Minute Is Long Enough For Your Car To Warm Up
by Trisha Leigh
If you live in a cold climate and don’t have the luxury of covered or indoor parking there’s a good chance you prefer to warm up you car before hopping in and taking off.
It turns out that you might be letting your car run a bit too long, though, because according to experts, one minute is long enough.
In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, warming newer cars for more than 30 seconds is a waste of time and gasoline – and most manufacturers agree.
The reason is that driving will warm your car up more effectively – and faster – than having it idle in your parking spot.
Worst case scenario is that it could damage your car, says the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.
“Excessive idling can actually damage your engine components, including cylinders, spark plugs, and exhaust systems. Many components of the vehicle – including the wheel bearings, tires and suspension system – will warm up only when the vehicle is moving. You need to idle no more than 30 seconds to get the oil circulating through the engine.”
If you learned about warming up your car from your parents, there was probably a good reason. Cars manufactured before 1980 had carburetor engines, and warming them up adequately would prevent the engine from stalling.
The oil the engines used also took longer to circulate, which meant cars needed to idle for more like 10 minutes before pulling out of the driveway.
With our modern fuel injection systems, though, lubricate quickly – though Consumer Reports does warn against revving the engine until your temperature gauge moves above cold.
So bundle up and go for it – you’ll get warm faster by moving.
That goes for your body, too!