Union Square - Somerville Community Blog

Boston Auto Repair Talk: Warming Up Your Vehicle

Posted by Mikes Automotive on Thu, Jan, 29, 2015 @ 11:01 AM

It's that time of year again: winter! With recent low temperatures dropping below zero, the bitter cold has officially set in. And as most New Englanders know, we have a long way to go!

Around this time of year, we consistently receive the same question from many of ourBoston Auto Repair customers: "How long should I warm up my car?" The answer? Not as long as you think. You see, vehicles needed to be warmed up for a considerable amount of time back when they had carburetors. Modern vehicles are all fuel-injected, so you don't have to warm them up for very long.

Our friends at the Car Care Council put it best: “Unless you are trying to defrost the windshield or warm the interior of your car, idling is not required for today’s vehicles,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “In most cases, idling longer than 30 seconds is unnecessary. The best way to warm up your car’s engine is to drive gently at the start. Remember, a vehicle gets zero miles per gallon when idling and the result is lower fuel economy and wasted money.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “When a car idles for more than 30 seconds, it has several negative effects, such as increasing air pollution unnecessarily, wasting fuel and money, and causing excessive wear or even damaging a car’s engine components, including cylinders, spark plugs, and the exhaust system. Contrary to popular belief, idling isn’t an effective way to warm up most car engines.”

That information comes as a surprise to most people. So, unless you've got a sheet of ice on your windshield, excessive idling isn't necessary and can do more damage than good.

At Mike's, you can always feel free to ask us anything about your vehicle. Remember, a little Boston auto repair talk can save you a whole lot of time - and money!

Tags: Boston Auto Repair, Boston Car Repair, Vehicle Fleet Maintenance, Car Tips, Preventive Maintenance