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You have questions. Pat Goss has answers.
Is it a bad idea to let my car warm up before driving in the cold?
Now you may ask, “Why is it a bad idea to let your car warm up for a long time before driving it?” Well, that’s pretty simple. When you let the car sit in idle the only thing you are warming up is the coolant in the engine. Not the engine oil, not the power steering, the brake system, the transmission, the differential, or any of these other systems on the car. That doesn’t mean, “Ok, I’ve got a warm engine! I’m going to go out and drive it like crazy!” It means you could be overstressing other parts and causing excessive wear.
So, a minute to a minute and a half of warm up. Then drive it gently until everything reaches normal temperature.