Don’t wait for your car to warm up before driving in frosty weather, experts warn

Experts have warned that it may actually be damaging your vehicle if you wait for your car to warm up before driving in frosty weather.

Waking up to cold and frosty weather can be a bit of a nightmare if you have somewhere you need to be – the added stress of having to defrost your car before heading on your way is something we can all relate to.

Many of us will turn on the engine in order to defrost our windscreen before waiting for the car to heat up before driving.

However, experts have warned that waiting for your car to warm up before driving in frosty weather conditions could actually be damaging your vehicle.

Expert advice – don’t wait for your car to warm up before driving in frosty weather

Don’t wait for your car to warm up before driving.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Speaking to LADbible, RAC Breakdown spokesperson Rod Dennis explained that waiting for your car to heat up can cause several problems for your engine, while also harming the environment.

He explained, “Sitting waiting for it to warm up is a bad idea for several reasons – a car warms up much faster when it’s actually being driven, and idling contributes to air pollution and global warming, as you are needlessly emitting exhaust fumes.

“In very cold conditions, idling can also accelerate wear on the engine.”

Therefore, it may be better to head off as soon as your windscreen has defrosted and just make sure to take it easy on the roads for the first part of your journey while the engine heats up.

Advancements in technology – new rules for new cars

It is best to let your car warm up while you drive.
Credit: pixabay.com / Ebowalker

For years, drivers have been told that the best course of action to prevent damage to the car’s engine is to wait for the car to warm up before driving.

However, used car supermarket Carwise Group have explained that recent advancements in vehicle technology mean this is no longer necessary.

They explain, “With advancements in the quality of engineering and technology in vehicles, the need to leave your engine idling before driving off is no longer required.

“In fact, the majority of modern vehicles feature fuel-injection engines, negating the need for a stationary ‘warm-up’ period.

“Instead, a short period of gentle driving – anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds – will suitably warm the engine before any prolonged exertion is required.”

Will idling cause damage to your car? – the technicalities

Experts warn you don’t wait for your car to warm up before driving.
Credit: pxhere.com

Answering the question of whether idling will actually cause damage to your car, Carwise Group explained,

“There is a risk that leaving your car idling on a cold morning can cause essential lubricating oil to be stripped from cylinder walls and the pistons of the engine, leading to potential damage that could cost hundreds to repair.

“The risks of leaving your car engine running before heading off, clearly, outweigh the benefits.”

So, if you’re heading off on the road this winter, don’t wait for your car to warm up before driving in frosty weather.

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