Fact or fiction? You need to warm up your engine before driving.

By Lori Todd, AutoNation on Thursday, December 2, 2010

In our weekly poll, we asked whether you let your engine warm up before driving or not. Just like your responses, when we asked our own friends there was a mix of responses, but no one was quite sure if they were doing the right thing. This got us wondering whether or not this was simply a car myth. (For those of you in colder climates, we’re not talking about letting your car’s cabin warm up, but rather the engine itself.)

It turns out that a thorough warm-up (letting your car sit idle for a few minutes before putting it into gear) is simply a holdover from the automobile’s history. No longer is it necessary because on-board computers and fuel-injection allow vehicles to regulate themselves during the first few minutes after turning on.

But just because your car can handle warming itself up, don’t think you can begin speeding like a race car driver. It is recommended that you drive gently for the first few minutes.

And for the naysayers: Keep in mind that letting your car sit idle actually has some drawbacks. It wastes fuel and releases additional emissions into the environment.

Is there a car myth that you’d like us to get to the bottom of? Let us know in the comments and we’ll find out if it’s fact or fiction.

Creative Commons photo by Phil Willoughby.

Share this
  • RSS
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • Mixx
  • FriendFeed
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • NewsVine
  • Posterous
  • Ping.fm
  • Technorati
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Print

Tags | ,

  • http://www.facebook.com/AliciaSoret Alicia Soret

    Ahh… I suppose I’m old school. My dad taught me to always let the car warm up after sitting overnight and for more than a few hours at a time, until the RPMs come down. (When I start up my truck in the morning, it starts at around 900-1000 RPMs and then comes down to around 600-700, which is then when I put it into gear..) But that’s me. :)

  • http://mynameisnotlisa.com/ Lori Todd

    Hey Alicia! You were the person who had me wondering about this in the first place! :)

blog comments powered by Disqus