What Is Idling and Does It Help Your Car?
As long as many of us has driven a car, we have always been taught to idle our engine and let it warm up in the morning or on cold days. This is easier on the engine and will help it last longer they say. Is this really true though and, if so, does it pertain to today’s modern cars with their advanced electronic control systems? The answer is no and we will explain why idling your engine to warm up your car could actually harm your engine and waste fuel as well.
To explain, we will have to take a look at the internal combustion engine you have in your car. For your car to go down the road, the engine must create small explosions inside the cylinders. In cold weather, vapor builds up inside the engine making the engine controller work harder and pump more fuel into the combustion chamber. This additional fuel can actually wash away engine protecting oil from the cylinder walls causing wear on your engine and decreasing the life of it.
Not only does idling your car to warm it up cause excess wear on the cylinder walls, it can also waste gas. Ideally, your car’s engine should be around 40 degrees Fahrenheit to be suitable for operation. This enables the fuel to vaporize normally and reduce unnecessary fuel usage.
Does idling your car’s engine to warm it up really provide any benefits aside from a warm vehicle interior? No. If you want to take care of your car, just get in and drive. Give it the proper maintenance and repair that it needs and it should provide many more miles.
So where did the warming up your car myth come from? Before fuel injection, computers and other vehicle monitoring systems, cars used carburetors to inject fuel into the engine. This meant that cars were more temperamental than they are today and warming them up was necessary to provide a smooth idle. Now, there is no need to warm up your car by idling the engine. You can just get in and drive