Warming up your car - questions and answers

You always hear that you should “warm up” your car. What does that even mean, and is it really necessary? The Brake Shop in Mesa, AZ has the answers for you.

Back in the day, warming up your car was necessary. In cold or coldish weather particularly, it was important to start your vehicle and let it run for a few minutes before hitting the road. Oil was less advanced then, and required ample time to warm up and lubricate the engine properly. Carburetors didn’t function quite right until the engine was warm, causing the car to stall or die in cold weather. There were no sensors to adjust fuel ratios or make adjustments to running conditions.

But, in the modern era, is warming up your car necessary? In short, no. Modern cars with fuel injection, modern oil, computers, and other electronics don’t need to be warmed up before driving them (except in certain instances, like turbocharged vehicles.) For the most part, your car’s emissions and fuel delivery systems adjust automatically to driving in any condition. The old myths about warming your vehicle up are rooted in truth, but the rules and reasons are no longer applicable.

In extremely cold temperatures, it doesn’t hurt to let the engine warm up a little bit, but less than a minute is typically fine. Generally, it’s perfectly fine to start your vehicle and take off. 

If your vehicle does require a warm up period before it’s drivable, there’s something wrong. A sensor malfunction or weak part can cause a car to run poorly in cold weather, either of which should be fixed before the condition worsens. If your car performs poorly when cold started, bring it by The Brake Shop and let one of our technicians take a look at it. We’ll have your car ready to go, anytime, in no time.



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Thank you for visiting The Brake Shop Total Car Care in Mesa, AZ. Count on our automotive repair technicians to keep your car, truck, suv, or van on the roads longer and safer.

Schedule your appointment today (480) 969-7244 or REQUEST APPOINTMENT HERE.

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The Brake Shop

536 N Country Club Dr
Mesa, AZ 85201

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