Myth check: Does warming the car help the engine?

1 year 10 months 1 week ago Thursday, December 07 2017 Dec 7, 2017 Thursday, December 07, 2017 6:41:00 PM CST December 07, 2017 in News
By: Aaron K. Ladd, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Cold weather months usually mean adding a couple extra minutes to your morning routine to warm up the car. Drivers who idle their cars - or run the engine without driving - believe it is necessary to bring the car back up to its normal operating temperature.

However depending on who you ask, some believe idling gets you nowhere fast.

"The fastest way to warm up a car is to accelerate," said Justin Dumas of All-Star Automotive. "By warming up your car you're basically wasting fuel, and you could potentially do more damage to a modern engine than if you would just get in it and go."

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, nearly 3 billion gallons of fuel are wasted per year due to idling. A 2015 EPA report stated idling for more than 10 minutes does more harm than good. 

Dumas said ultimately the debate on whether "to warm or not to warm" comes down to a variety of factors including your vehicle's specific year and model and what type of oil your car uses. 

"Oil and car technology has gotten so much better through the growth of semi and full synthetics," Dumas said. "The oil is the key. [Synthetic oils] don't get as thick in cold weather as your typical conventional oil. These newer oils stay thin so there's really no need to warm up the car." 

The faster oil can travel to and though the engine, the faster your car's temperature begins to rise. Synthetic oil blends were introduced in the late 80's and are now commonplace. Domas said only about 1 percent of his customers still use conventional oil.

Despite advances in automotive technology, Chris Fulk of A-Z Auto Repair said it's better to be safe than sorry. "Personally I like to warm the vehicle up," he said.

"Your car's lubrication, coolant levels and defrosters are all affected by the temperature," Fulk said. "I think people get the wrong idea, they think it's a new car, you ought to be able to just get in and go, and that's just not the case."

Across the U.S., county and state governments have passed anti-idling laws aimed at reducing waste. For example, St. Louis City municipality prohibits idling for more than 10 minutes.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - State Auditor Nicole Galloway released an audit Wednesday of the Insurance Dedicated Fund and the Insurance Examiners'... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 6:48:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against Cory Mincey and Puppy Love Kennel of Dallas... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 5:48:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Sharp End Heritage Committee unveiled seven new markers Wednesday that will be placed on the African American... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 5:48:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - In an effort to decrease the number of suicides across the state, a non-profit group is teaming up... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 5:45:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
MILLER COUNTY - A Tuscumbia man has been sentenced to 15 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for failure... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 2:42:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Three former Cole County Emergency Medical Services employees filed lawsuits against the county on Monday, claiming discrimination... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 2:33:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A precautionary boil water advisory has been issued for Missouri American Water customers in Jefferson City after... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 2:16:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A Pennsylvania law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against Hy-Vee. The lawsuit comes after the grocery... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 1:31:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
DETROIT (AP) — Bargainers for General Motors and the United Auto Workers have reached a tentative contract deal that could... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 11:05:35 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLE COUNTY - A St. Thomas man is dead after a tractor crash Tuesday evening. According to the Missouri... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:53:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - New trail markers identifying places of interest in the African American community are coming to the downtown Columbia... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 3:53:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The local segment of a national student film competition called "Campus Movie Fest" (CMF) is starting Wednesday at... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 3:52:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia school district is investigating after a racist image imitating the web site of Columbia's Gentry Middle... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 9:24:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Police Department (MUPD) is investigating a sexual assault that happened over the weekend near... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:53:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Twelve Democratic presidential candidates took stage Tuesday night in Ohio while mid-Missouri viewers watched on television. The debate... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:44:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri released the results Tuesday of a survey on the campus climate surrounding sexual assault... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:27:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway said Tuesday Missouri is in no shape to handle a recession if financial... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:13:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - From ear to ear, it's hard to miss 94-year-old Elmo Winterhalter's smile. "I don't know I've always... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 6:40:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in EmVP
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 48°
8pm 47°
9pm 45°
10pm 44°
11pm 44°