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Myth or Fact: Warm Up Your Car in the Winter

Winter can be a harsh season, not just for people but also for cars. With the freezing weather condition, winter has to be the worst season that people should deal with every year, especially if you live in cold and snowy places. Remember how difficult it can be to drive your car during snow? With the risk of too much cold possibly affecting your car, many car owners are looking for car tips during winter.

One of the most common car tips they hear is to warm up their car in the winter, or else it can damage their car. It became so common that people believed it was a fact. In fact, car owners fire up their engines long before they start driving. They tend to start the car from the kitchen early in the morning and then drink their coffee afterward. However, is this belief a fact or just a myth? It turns out, the idea of warming up your car in the winter is a myth.

Myth: Warm up your car in the winter 

There is no reason why warming up your car in the winter is necessary. It is just a waste of fuel, and it can also strip oil from critical components that can help your engine runs, such as the car’s cylinders and pistons. So, how does your car’s engine work? Typically, your car engine runs on a mixture of air and vaporized fuel or gasoline as we know it. When the mixture enters the cylinder, the piston will compress it producing a spark. It then ignites a spark plug that generates a combustion event, which drives the engine.

However, when the weather is cold, like that of winter, the gasoline will not evaporate quickly. As a result, your car will add more gasoline to the air vapor mixture. When it happens, it can cause a problem. The moment your car put off extra fuel into the combustion chamber, some of it can get into the cylinder walls. Gasoline is a type of solvent, and running it during winter can wash the oil off the walls. If you keep doing it, it can affect the lubrication system and the life of car components such as piston rings and cylinder liners. Remember, these things are essential to run your car’s engine and should be kept in their optimal health.

Therefore, contrary to popular belief, warming up your car in winter will not prolong the life of your car, but rather, it can cause problems and decrease its lifespan in the process. If you want to warm up your engine the sure way, do not idle it but rather use it, which means you need to drive your car. It is advised that you gently drive your car during winter. Doing so will warm up the car faster, which will allow your car to run smoothly and efficiently. 

The next time you hear winter advice for your car, be sure that it is not a myth – because it might just be making things a lot worse for your car.