On the cold winter mornings, some folks will fire up their vehicles and leave them ...
On the cold winter mornings, some folks will fire up their vehicles and leave them running for 10, 20, maybe even 30 minutes, thinking they are reducing wear and tear by letting their vehicles warm up gently. But Jason from Engineering Explained is here to explain why that’s a bad idea for your car.
The conventional wisdom that you should idle your vehicle up to operating temperature comes from the days of carburetors, and which needed several minutes of idling to get to the operating temperature where they would run smoothly.
With fuel-injected engines, the ECU can adjust itself to idle perfectly and even in sub-zero weather. And as Jason explains, idling the engine doesn’t really build up much heat at all, compared to driving it.
Jason goes through the details of what happens in the cold engine and points out the hidden damage of letting your car idle for a long time on a cold day: Engine oil dilution.
It turns out, while you might have thought that letting your vehicle slowly warm up was reducing wear and tear, all that idling time leads to raw gasoline seeping into the oil, andbreaking down the oil’s lubrication properties and increasing the wear. Well, what should you do? Start it up, make sure all your windows are clear of ice/snow/fog, just drive the thing!
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