Warming up the engine in winter: Why do it?
During the winter, when temperatures are low, many drivers wonder if they need to warm up their car’s engine before driving. There are two main camps on this issue:
Proponents of warm-up argue that it is necessary to ensure proper lubrication of the engine and prevent wear of its parts.
Opponents of heating believe that it is unnecessary and even harmful, as it leads to increased fuel consumption and environmental pollution.
Why is it necessary to warm up the engine in winter?
- At a cold start, the oil in the engine is thicker and cannot provide effective lubrication of the rubbing parts. This can lead to premature wear of pistons, cylinders, bearings and other components.
- Also, cold air is drier and can cause oil and other lubricants to dry out. This can lead to increased friction and wear.
- Warming up the engine helps stretch and warm the rubbing parts, which improves lubrication and reduces wear. Also, heated oil is less prone to evaporation, which helps maintain its lubricating properties.
How long should we warm up the engine in winter?
According to most car manufacturers, the engine should be warmed up at idle for at least 2-3 minutes before starting. This is enough time for the oil to reach operating temperature and begin to flow freely.
If the weather is very cold, you may need to warm up the engine for a little longer.
How to warm up the engine in winter?
To warm up your engine in the winter, simply start it and let it idle. Do not turn on any additional devices, such as the air conditioner or the radio, as they will increase fuel consumption and delay warm-up.
Once the engine is up to operating temperature, you’re good to go.
Are harmful emissions when the engine warms up?
When the engine warms up at idle, more harmful emissions are emitted from the exhaust pipe. This is because the engine runs at low RPMs where complete fuel combustion is not achieved.
The amount of harmful emissions released depends on several factors, including:
- Engine type
- Make and model of the car
- Fuel quality
- Engine settings
- Modern electronically controlled engines are designed to emit less harmful emissions, even when idling.
And in conclusion we can say that:
Warming up the engine in winter is recommended as it helps prevent premature engine wear and improve engine performance.
If the weather is very cold, you may need to warm up the engine for a little longer (between 5-7 minutes).
To reduce harmful emissions when warming up, modern cars have a catalytic converter or a particulate filter.
Ultimately, the decision whether or not to warm up the engine in winter is a personal one. If you want to ensure a long and trouble-free life for your engine, warming up is a good idea.
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