Why is it necessary to warm up a car in winter? Should I start the engine and take some time?

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Warm-up operation is a driving method in which the engine is started, the vehicle is idling, the vehicle is waiting for the vehicle to warm up, and then the vehicle is started. It is said that warm-up operation is especially necessary in the cold season, but why? Also, what is the estimated time for warm-up operation?

Why is it necessary to warm up a car in winter?
Is the guideline for warm-up operation until the needle of the water temperature gauge starts to move?

Is the idling state for warm-up operation a waste of fuel?

How do you warm up after starting the engine in the morning during the cold winter months? I think that it is different for each person, such as those who keep idling for a while and wait for the water temperature to rise, and those who start immediately when the engine is started even in winter, but in reality, how should we warm up? Is it? In order to consider that, I think it is necessary to first think about why it is necessary to warm up.

What is the purpose of warm-up operation? Why warm up is needed

The main purpose of warming up is to warm the engine first. You may also want to heat up in the colder months, or use a defroster to defrost windows. Since these are functions that utilize the heat of the engine cooling water, they are also considered to be the same as heating the engine. So why does the engine need to be warmed so well?


If you are an elderly driver or a person who is in an old car, you probably know it because you have actually experienced it, but in a car a long time ago (old fuel control device = carburetor type car), it will be an engine when it is cold. The reality was that I couldn’t run as I wanted, even if I wanted to run, because I had no power and the speed was slow. Therefore, when the temperature was low, it was necessary to warm up the engine well and wait for the engine to perform as it should before starting to run.

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Now, what about modern cars? You can drive normally without worrying about warming up. This is mainly due to advances in engine control technology, which has made it possible to appropriately control the amount of fuel injected so that performance can be brought out firmly even when the engine is cold.

If so, is warming up completely unnecessary? That is not always the case. For example, the parts inside an engine are designed to perform as they should only when the engine has warmed to the proper temperature. Of course, with modern engines, the processing accuracy of parts is much higher, so you don’t have to think too seriously, but pistons and the like are still typical parts that require temperature control.

Therefore, considering that oil consumption tends to increase due to the meaning of laboring the engine and the problem of piston clearance in a cold state, it is thought that some kind of warm-up operation is necessary even with modern engines. However, it is not possible from an ecology point of view to waste fuel by idling and to disperse exhaust gas and CO2 unnecessarily.

Warm-up operation is completed if you start running normally without spending time on idling!

In fact, you don’t have to do anything special to get a good warm-up without wasting fuel.
Once you start the engine, you just have to start running “normally”. Normal is a bit vague, but I think you can think of it as driving in the city without sudden operations (excluding brakes) such as sudden start, sudden acceleration, and sudden steering.

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If you start running suddenly, it may not be a warm-up operation. You may think that, as mentioned above, modern cars can run without problems immediately after starting the engine. Of course, there is a problem with opening the accelerator fully immediately, but I think that damage to the engine is not particularly noticeable if the speed is such that you can ride the normal traffic flow. On the contrary, since the engine speed is higher than when idling, the warming of each part becomes much faster.

Another reason to recommend warming up while running is that parts other than the engine can be warmed up at the same time. It is not OK for a car to warm up the engine, but it is also necessary to heat the drive train parts such as transmissions and differentials, the bearings of rotating parts such as hubs, and tires appropriately.

These parts hardly warm up just by stopping and idling (although some of them may be warmed up by the heat of the engine etc.). Basically, the temperature rises to the proper temperature only when the car moves and each part operates. By warming up while running, not only the engine but also these drive trains can be warmed up appropriately, and as a result, the entire car can be warmed up to the optimum state.

Even in cold regions, it is better to warm up in the idling state for a short time.

Even in cold regions, it is better to warm up in the idling state for a short time.
Let’s shorten the warm-up time as much as possible even in cold regions

However, in cold regions, there may be problems with window freezing and the temperature inside the car, so I think it is unavoidable to warm up in the idling state to some extent, but window freezing can be dealt with by covering it. I think that idling time can be shortened considerably by taking measures against the cold, such as driving while wearing a jacket.

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In any case, warming up in the idling state is inefficient and only the engine can be warmed up, so the point is to finish it in as short a time as possible. By the time you start running and the water temperature stabilizes, the warm-up of each part should have been completed, so you should finish the warm-up operation around that point.

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