Probably more people than not still believe that in order to avoid harming your car in the wintertime, you should be warming it up before driving. The age-old strategy of warming your car for at least five minutes before you hit the road is still one that many believe in. People who have remote car starters installed in their vehicles often do exactly that – although when the weather is very cold outside this probably has more to do with making the car’s interior warm and comfortable, rather than any state of readiness for the vehicle itself.

New cars don’t need warmups

Surprise surprise! This thinking has been completely misguided for at least the last 20 years or so. It is however, somewhat understandable because of the instinctive feeling that cars are less efficient until they warm up and that it takes vehicles longer to reach optimal driving temperature during cold weather. Even in Edmonton.

Older cars (which included carburetors as standard equipment) did have to warm up in order to work well, because only at a sufficiently warm temperature could they establish the right mix of air and fuel to prevent the engine from stalling out. However, carburetors are now long gone (since the 90’s) from the standard makeup of modern vehicles and have been replaced by electronic fuel injection, which achieves the necessary air and fuel mix by making use of sensors.

Essentially, when carburetors were eliminated from vehicles so was the need to warm up the vehicle before operating it, even in the coldest weather – because the sensors on the electronic fuel injection system detect the cold weather situation and adjust to it. This makes it completely irrelevant to warm up your vehicle and let it idle before driving. The opposite is actually true. A car will always warm up faster when it’s being operated in a normal driving situation.

Disadvantages to warming up your vehicle

Warming up your car in the wintertime is not only unnecessary, but it costs you money because it wastes fuel while your car is idling. In addition, it emits extra greenhouse gases and other kinds of pollution even with the help of modern filtering equipment.

Having a vehicle maintenance strategy for your fleet that takes into account proper facts is of high importance. Working with a team of experienced fleet management experts can help you measure things such as the effects idling has on your fleet as well as the environment. Latium Fleet Management has saved over 2 million litres of fuel from reducing idling for our clients. If you’re interested in learning how we could help you, feel free to contact us.