“Contrary to popular belief, this does not prolong the life of your engine; in fact, it decreases it by stripping oil away from the engine’s cylinders and pistons.”

Popular Mechanics just blew up my long held belief that warming up your car on cold days before hitting the road was beneficial to the engine.  With this ultra cold snap currently gripping 85 million midwesterners this info is timely:

“You’re actually putting extra fuel into the combustion chamber to make it burn and some of it can get onto the cylinder walls. Gasoline is an outstanding solvent and it can actually wash oil off the walls if you run it in those cold idle conditions for an extended period of time.”-Stephen Ciatti

According to PM the best thing to do is start the car, make sure you windows are clear of snow/ice, and get going but not to hammer the gas at first:

“Gunning it straightaway will put unnecessary strain on your engine. It takes 5 to 15 minutes for your engine to warm up while driving, so take it nice and easy for the first part of your drive.”


Photo Credit: youtube Kaj Sotala via Flickr Creative Commons |  Ari Helminen

Unofficial Networks Newsletter

Get the latest snow and mountain lifestyle news and entertainment delivered to your inbox.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.