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It's cold out- Do I need to let my engine warm up before driving?


Hello RVA- it's time for Richmond's Easy Street Oil to blog about the importance of oil changes, vehicle maintenance, and treating your car well.



Almost 20% of drivers think you need to warm up your vehicle's engine for several minutes before driving. This was true 40 years ago, but not so much today. Advances in engines, gasoline, and motor oil have put an end to the need to warm up your engine. In fact, studies show that you shouldn't let your engine idle for more than 30 seconds before you begin to drive.


Older vehicles had equipment that is obsolete in today's high tech vehicles. The older technology was impacted by the weather much more than a modern vehicle built in the last 25 years. For example, in a 1968 Pontiac GTO, the gas lines might freeze, the amount of air and gasoline that goes into the engine changes with the temperature, and the oil did not flow nearly as well as modern oils. All of these issues meant you should let your car warm up for a few minutes...in 1968.


Today's cars have engines that will warm up faster and more efficiently by driving rather just sitting in the driveway idling. Also, a vehicle that is left idling for more than about 30 seconds is wasting fuel and producing pollution- wasting your money. Advances in automotive technology not only keep you safer, but save you money and result in less pollution from your vehicle; as long as you let that technology do it's job. So, don't worry about driving your car when it's cold out- the cold is harder on you than it is on your car!





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Easy Street Oil

Richmond, VA

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804-216-1829