Should You Warm Up Your Car When It's Cold?

- Happy October, yeah, that's right, it's October.

I know it felt like last week was the 4th of July,

but now we're gearing up for Halloween

and even things giving.

And even though this year may be just flying by Mach three.

It might not actually be such a bad thing.

'Cause I mean, for real, let's just get it over with,

but, if you haven't noticed,

it started to get a little bit

colder outside. (ice cracks)

And if you're one of those like us

up here at Fitment Industries,

you are physically and mentally,

more mentally preparing yourself

for the cold winter months ahead.

And you know what else comes with these cold winter months,

Cabin fever, because it gets a little bit dark outside,

and nobody wants to go outside.

It's like 30 below.

And what do people do when they have cabin fever?

They just sit on Facebook and start posting and sharing

like a whole bunch of dumb shit.

And you know, with us being car enthusiasts

it's usually some car related dumb shit.

And there seems to be this massive debate

that hits the internet right around this time.

And that is whether or not,

you should let your car engine warm up,

before you start driving.

And that is exactly what we're gonna be talking about

on the first episode of Myth or Fat.

(electric music)

(car accelerates)

Before we go ahead and get into the nitty gritty,

if you haven't hit that subscribe button yet,

make sure you do so,

otherwise how are you going to make sure

you stay up to date with all the controversial topics

that we're about to talk about on this new series?

Other than that, Wheels, Tires and Suspension,

You know the drill, let's just, let's just get into it.

So, here is the argument,

those of us who live in colder climates,

or areas where it just gets cold

at certain parts of the year,

have become accustomed to going out

and starting up our cars to let them warm up.

A lot of people say that this is good for the car

because it gets things moving and ready for operation

and gets the oil going, all that sort of good stuff.

It also gets a chance for the inside of the car to get warm

because you know, that's also an important thing.

However, there is argument that this whole thing,

is actually just a waste of time,

and is not necessary and is not needed.

And in some cases, people argue that it is just straight up

not good for the car at all.

Like I mentioned, this debate usually seems to always appear

on Facebook or some sort of social media, almost annually.

It's like clockwork,

typically in the form of some shared blog posts claiming,

that they have found the answer,

to whether or not you need to let your engine warmup.

However, even though someone's found the answer

there's still gonna be 12 other articles written about it,

and it gets the comments section

and car groups all sorts of just wound up.

And it's not just like random blog posts here and there,

in the past writers such as Popular Mechanics

the Washington Post, Jalopnik and even CarFox,

have written and posted articles,

talking about this exact topic.

So, you know what,

let's talk about it too, shall we?

Where did this all start?

Why is this such an argument of topic?

Well, to start off, let's kick it back

to the years of carburetted engines in cars,

back in the day when an engine was cold,

or hasn't been started,

and is at an ambient temperature to the outside,

they typically needed help

from a little thing called the choke, to get started.

The choke was there to essentially,

choke the amount of air coming into the engine

so that there was a richer air fuel mixture

making it easier for the engine to start.

Once the engine was started,

the choke could be backed off

to the normal air fuel mixture.

And you could be on your happy little way.

No one really thought about it.

It was just common practice,

because it was needed for the car to run.

It was also common practice,

because there was another thing thing to consider too.

The oil of today is nothing like it was years ago.

Back then vehicles ran a thicker viscosity oil,

just because that's what oil was.

You make sure the car had oil, car go just fine.

And that was that.

However, when introduced to colder weather, colder climates,

this oil with higher viscosity would get thicker

with the colder temperature,

meaning that it had to reach a certain temperature itself,

to flow better to get all around the engine

to make sure that it was lubricated nice and good.

This became habit and common practice.

If you were going to drive your car after sitting overnight

you are more than likely gonna have to go

let it warm up for like a minute or so.

That's just how it was.

However, since the time of carbureted engines,

we've had a ton of advancements

in automotive and oil technology,

but the introduction of things

such as electronic fuel injection and synthetic oils

these practices really are not as necessary

as they used to be.

However, they are just carrying over from that time.

Electronic fuel injection is able to automatically adjust

for the cold starts, which is why you'll notice,

when you start up, modern cars after sitting for a while,

they will idle a little bit higher for a minute or so,

and then drop down to a normal idle.

Modern engines have a much tighter tolerance as well,

which tends to call for a lower viscosity oil,

and what the advancements in the oil technology

and the introduction of things such as synthetic oils

they are less effected by colder temperatures.

They don't thicken up as much or gel as much,

which in sense, solves the two main issues,

as to why everyone would have to warm up,

their older cars.

So they're like, why do we continue to have this debate?

I mean, it seems pretty straightforward, right?

Newer modern cars take care of all those worries,

we should have and should be good to go.

However, no debate or argument is ever that simple.

And I wish it could be,

because that would solve a hell of a lot of issues,

but that's just not the case.

And here's why,

the idea that you should let your engine warmup or not,

is dependent on so,

so many variables,

if you're gonna hop in your Camry,

to run to the nearest quick trip,

for some 49 cent bananas,

and it's a crisp fall day,

no, you don't need to let your car warm up.

It's gonna be okay,

If you're hopping into your Fully Built STI,

and it's really fun to drive

and you're gonna haul ass on the freeway.

(car starts)

Yeah, you should probably let it warm up for a minute or so.

if you live in Wisconsin,

and it's negative 30 degrees outside

and there's 10 inches of fresh snow on the ground,

yes, you're probably gonna have to let it warm up.

Not only for the safety of your engine,

but for your safety insanity,

since your heater is gonna take a bit to kick in,

and actually defrost your windshield.

It's truly all subjective,

and that is why, it's really a never ending debate.

And a lot of times these articles

will take other things into consideration,

such as, how much fuel you are wasting,

when you're letting your car warm up for five minutes?

Or how much pollution is caused because of it?

And typically, this is just done to support their case.

With today's technology,

it is not necessary to warm up your daily driver,

to get to work or run errands in normal weather conditions.

But this is not a true overall statement

that applies for every vehicle owner out there.

When you have a rotary for the love of God,

let the (beep) thing warm up.

The truth is, if you have a high performance vehicle

that you're about to go balls to the walls with,

let it warm up, it's not gonna hurt anything.

So, there you have it.

Let us know your thoughts

down in the comments section below.

And I don't even have to say that,

because you've already probably dropped the comment

and have started their argument with the person below you.

So, that's going on,

but, let us know what myths you'd like us to cover next

in the automotive scene.

And of course, don't forget to subscribe,

Wheels Tires Suspension,

Thanks so much for watching,

appreciate y'all, we'll see you later, peace.

(upbeat music)