Should You Heat Up Your Car Before Driving In Winter Season? Expert Gives The Answer


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If you live in a relatively cold area, you can probably expect a heavy dose of cold this winter. Snow may blanket your front lawn or ice may cover your windows and you have to wear your gloves, boots, get a shovel and deal with it at all costs. This tragedy doubles for anyone who owns a car as well.

If you don’t have a garage, there are chances that your car is not going to co-operate during those early morning hours. Some people resort to a handful of tricks to keep their cars running smoothly, such as warming up the engine for a few minutes before leaving home. It may be a fine practice for keeping you warm but it may not be as necessary as you think it is.

Cars and winters just never mix. There will be days when you will face frozen door handles and icy windshields. And to add more difficulty after that, your car might get stuck in the snow later on.

Fortunately, drivers have created methods to get their cars and themselves out of trouble when the temperature drops below zero. These simple tricks can help you get your car out of the driveway a little faster and stay safe on the road.

Ally Kraemer from Cincinnati, Ohio’s Channel 9 News faced the cold to find out what you can do to keep safe on the road when the ice and snow make driving more difficult than ever. She also answered the question many drivers ask that is, is it worthwhile to warm up the car before you leave home?

Ally told to make sure that the vehicle’s fluids are topped off before the frigid cold sets in. This includes stocking up anti-freeze wiper fluid, antifreeze, and thinner if necessary.

Apart from checking fluids, Ally learned about another regular practice that is checking the tires’ air pressure. In the winter, it is much easier for air to leak out. No driver wants to be stranded in the cold with a flat tire.

Experts also suggest that you should also double check the tread on your tires using “the penny test”. To perform this check, take a penny and with the Head pointing towards the rubber, insert it into the tread’s groove. If the tread covers part of Abe’s head, you are good to drive in the snow, if not you should replace the tires as soon as possible.

The main question was not about the fluids or the tires but whether or not it was okay to leave the car running for a few minutes before driving in the winter.

To answer that, she consulted with a few experts and the answer was: No. You do not need to warm up your car. While there is a certain pleasure in stepping into a car that is warmed up a little while it is freezing outside. It is actually not good for your car’s engine.

Here’s a video for you to see why you should not warm up your car. While you may not get the pleasure of hopping into a warm car anymore, it will be best for the car to let it chill out.

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  1. It is ALWAYS a good idea to allow your car to idle for at least a few seconds before driving away. The hot oil from your last drive drains from the internal parts of the engine very quickly. idling for 20-30 seconds allows the engine to pump oil back to all of the moving parts before stressing the by driving. In the cold, it takes longer for this to happen and for the oil to reach an efficient operating temperature. That;s why driving gently for a few minutes is a good idea anytime after a start-up. Racing cars are always warmed up before a race start. This is for a good reason, not superstition or tradition.

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