Should you warm up your vehicle?

Cold car tips

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – If your car sits outside all night long, it probably gets covered in snow and ice. But is it okay to jump in and take off on cold mornings? Car experts have differing opinions.

At Hood Oil in Warren, service manager Kevin Hood said he thinks it’s a good idea to warm up your car at least five or ten minutes, but he admits the industry is torn on the issue.

“A lot of experts will tell you with news cars being electronically controlled you only need a minute or two before you can start driving, and that may be true by the EPA standpoint. But there are a lot of moving parts in the engine and transmission, and the colder the morning the longer it takes to get the oil moving through those parts so you don’t get the damage,” Hood said.

The biggest thing, Hood said, is to clear the windows and de-ice everything.

Automotive instructor Bob Heimbuch agrees with Hood that opinions differ on the “warm-up” issue and disparity comes in comparing older model vehicles to new ones and carburetors versus fuel injection.

“Actually driving it is going to warm it up faster because your engine is going to be running at a higher RPM. The transmission will turning, actually getting the fluids warmed up quicker by driving it than waiting for it to warm up,” Heimbuch said.

In Ohio, it is illegal to start your car and let it warm up if you aren’t in the vehicle.