How many times have you been told that you should warm up your car in the winter time before you start driving? This is something that parents are always warning their children of, and neighbors casually saying when the snowfall is more than usual, but how much truth is there behind this statement? At Urban Auto Care, we know that the Denver snow can be brutal, and we want everyone to take advantage of all the things that will keep them safe through the winter. So we wanted to visit this statement and do a little bit of clarifying for all.
Where It All Started
This tip of starting a car all started back when carburetors were a major part of a car’s design. This specific part combined air and fuel in order to keep the car running, and in order for this particular part to work as best as it could, it needed to sit idle for roughly one to two minutes. The reason behind this is the difference in temperature. Cool air is dense with oxygen, but your vehicle’s carburetor will only measure air volume and not the amount of oxygen. This means that it takes longer to balance the air to fuel ratio, so letting your car sit for a little allows for this to balance before you start driving.
Where We Are Now
This part was taken out of vehicles around the 1980’s and 90’s, so most cars made after 1995 don’t have this part in them anymore, which would eliminate the need to let your car sit and warm up, right? While there are plenty of people that are satisfied with this answer, the experts that work with cars on a routine basis have a different opinion.
What Experts Believe
This particular topic is one that is almost evenly split when it comes to what experts will say. Some will say that your vehicle is ready to drive immediately, while others still believe that you should take a few minutes to let your car sit and warm up before driving. What the team at Urban Auto Care suggests, is letting your car sit idle to warm up even if it is just for a couple of minutes. This allows for all the fluids in your car to warm up so that they can move through your car more fluidly. This also gives you the time that you need to let your windshield defrost and warm up the inside of your car. In the chance that you do drive your car before your liquids have warmed up a little, there is a chance that you are cutting down the life of your engine.
Stop by Urban Auto Care and have our mechanics look over your vehicle just to ensure that it continues to run well this winter. We would be more than happy to perform a thorough inspection of your car to see if there are any other ways that you can keep your car running safe and sound this winter season. We have two locations serving the greater Denver area — visit our auto shops in Lakewood or Denver. Schedule an appointment today!