Should You Let Your Car Warm Up?

Juan Lara

Lately, there has been many articles circulating Facebook over letting your car warm up. Many of these articles propose that you’re wasting gas, letting out unnecessary emissions, and wearing out your engine. The truth is, that although these points seem reasonable they are false. To sum it up, you should let your car warm up, but why?

Many of these “car” sites that claim you shouldn’t warm up your car only say for the most part to backup their claim by saying when you turn on a car the motor oil flows well. But the engines aren’t the only expensive, and complicated part in a car. Many don’t take in account the transmission, sensors, superchargers, and turbochargers.

A car’s transmission has transmission fluid which needs to flow well in order to not mess up gears, or mess up the clutch in a Manual car. When you turn on a car the engine’s pistons rotate a plate at around 700 RPM to 2000 RPM, the transmission needs to be synced with the engine in order to run smoothly, if not the transmission could be worn out in time.

Another thing people don’t take in account are sensors, especially the Mass Air Flow sensor or MAF sensor, this sensor regulates the fuel to air ratio based on the air coming in through the intake. When started the MAF sensor is still warming up in order to get a good reading, if the MAF sensor doesn’t get a good reading fuel economy is at stake and you’ll actually be wasting more gas when driving the car when not warmed up. This is called running the car too rich or too lean.

In modern cars, especially American make cars like Ford, and Chevy, the way their cars obtain good fuel efficiency is from a small turbocharger which allows the car to have a smaller engine, yet produce more torque and horsepower in order to achieve a better power to weight ratio which hence improves fuel consumption. Turbochargers are expensive, and need oil to flow into them. When a car has been sitting overnight the oil need time to circulate the engine and allow some of it to enter the turbocharger. Not allowing time for oil to circulate into the turbocharger can cause the turbo to run dry and crack. Removing the turbo isn’t easy and buying a reliable one isn’t cheap.

Many of these “car” sites claim, I refer it as “car” sites since you could basically put motor or gear in any site and people would believe you, that you’re wasting gas while letting it sit and you’re causing wear to the engine. Considering that a car revs around 700-2000 RPM and most experts say if in a hurry drive your car under 2000 RPM you’re not really doing much in, in fact driving it while cold is wasting more gas because of the MAF sensor, and it’s causing wear on the transmission.

I end on this note; will it really kill you to wait 3-5 Minutes for your car to heat up? My opinion is let the car heat up, you don’t wake up in the morning and the first things you do is run? No you have a bit of time to warm up, right? If you’re really in a hurry, drive the car under 2000 RPM. Also don’t trust a political news site for car stuff, and I wouldn’t trust Facebook either.