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Verify: No, heating up your car will not help your engine

Unless your car still uses a carburator and not fuel injectors.

SAN ANTONIO — We may be warming up this weekend, but it is only early February so we've got some cold mornings ahead, which brings up a question many of us have had over the past few days. 

On a cold morning it is always nice to get into a nice, warm, toasty car before heading to work. That may be good for you, but what about your vehicle?


Is it true that warming up your vehicle on a cold morning helps your engine?


  • Alex De Hoyos, the Automotive Store Manager of Belden's Automotive
  • Cars.com



This is false.


Peter Geiger from the Farmer's Almanac told us, "This year we're saying that 

De Hoyos told us, "Not really. The newer vehicles have fuel injectors. My vehicle this morning had ice on the windshield. Got the ice off of it. Turned on my defroster. Maybe 30, 45 seconds I was back on the road again."

A Cars.com article entitled "Should You Warm Up Your Car In Winter" said, "You no longer need to warm up your car in winter...for your car's sake...unless it's old enough to have a carburetor (unlikely unless it's at least 30 years old), or it's electric or a plug-in hybrid."

De Hoyos added, "Carburetor. In the mornings it would sometimes struggle. You'd have to get the car warmed up. Maybe five, ten minutes depending on the weather."

So no, it is false. Warming up your vehicle on a cold morning does not help your engine.

Cars.com also said the most important tip is not to accelerate too aggressively until the engine is fully warmed up. 

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