We all know how cold it can get in the winter months! You may go about warming up your car differently, but many of us avoid the cold by jumping in our vehicle, turning it on, and then leaving it to warm up. While going about warming up your car by letting it idle sounds convenient, it’s actually not the best thing to do for your vehicle! Keep reading to find out why and how to go about starting up your engine in the winter months.

-Strips your car oils!

One of the reasons it’s not the best idea to keep your car running and warming up for a long period of time is it will strip your car oils. It does not help your engine but can strip the oil away from your engine’s cylinders and pistons. When your engine is cold, the gasoline is not likely to evaporate and have the correct amount of air and fuel for combustion. This could reduce the life of your vehicle’s engine!

The myth that you need to let your car idle for a long period of time in the winter months could have come from the old days. In the old days, cars relied on carburetors as an important engine component. Without warming up your car ahead of time, the carburetor would not have been able to get the right mix of fuel and air in the engine.

-Drive your car to heat it up!

Did you know that driving your car is the BEST way to warm it up?! I know, it sounds completely opposite to what a lot of us were told growing up! Experts say idling in the winter has no benefits for your car, so try to keep warming up your car time to 30 seconds max.

-Tips to starting your car!

So now, how can you do your best to keep your warming up time sweet and short? You may not always be able to avoid keeping your car running for a bit, especially if there is ice involved! But you can do your best to keep running time at a minimum. Here’s a quick list to get you started:

-If there’s snow, scrape your windshield as best as you can before you turn on your car!

-Keep your car in a garage or covered to avoid piles of snow or ice.

-Turn your car off and back on if it’s been idling for too long.

-Dress in layers in the wintertime, so you don’t completely freeze while driving as your car warms up!

We hope this article has opened your eyes to the car myth of idling your car as it warms up. Keep your car engine healthy by avoiding this and, rather, bearing the cold for a bit. Your car will thank you!

If you’re looking for a local auto repair shop to fix your engine, tires, get an oil change, or more, we at Harris Automotive offer full service repair. If you live in the Central Ohio area, we have two shops you can stop into—one in Westerville and one in Blacklick!

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