To Warm, or Not to Warm the Engine?

With the onset of winter, a familiar ritual for motorists returned: the body has to be cleared of snow, the windshield and side mirrors have to be warmed from ice, and the engine began to idle longer. Some technical experts assure that it makes no sense to warm up the car before starting, since the car warms up much more efficiently on the go. But others are sure that without prolonged heating, the oil will thicken, and this will negatively affect the operation of the engine. So is there no need to warm up the engine in winter and how to do it correctly?

A couple of seconds is enough for the gas engine

Even in moderate frosts, the engine does not need special warming up. So you can act (that is, do not warm up the engine before driving) until the temperature reaches minus 15 degrees Celsius. Because modern oils have a sufficient chemical formula in order not to thicken in the cold.

Modern oils allow any engine to work smoothly and with a preservation of resource even in a slight cold. But in more severe frosts, some restrictions are still imposed on the start of turbo engines. The gasoline atmospheric engine does not need to be warmed up. But gasoline with a turbine is another matter. In order for the turbine to heat up and the lubrication system to work properly, you can warm up the engine for one minute. This is quite enough.

The expert is inclined to believe that modern engines do not require warming up, so it makes no sense to keep the car at idle. However, it is still not necessary to give the car a serious load immediately after starting and to drown the gas at the start from a standstill. Service center technicians recommend starting smoothly and driving the first few tens of meters calmly. So all the components of the car in motion and without loads will reach their operating temperature.

the design of a modern engine is such that many electronic sensors support its operation.

Do not forget that modern oils are much better than those that were poured into cars in the old days. And the engine warms up faster in motion, and not at idle. It is also worth saying that in a strong minus, you should not start abruptly, especially in a car with all-wheel drive. You need to get under way calmly and smoothly.

Diesel needs to be heated, but not for long

The diesel engine requires closer attention and prolonged warm-up. In freezing temperatures of minus 15 degrees and below, the diesel engine should be warmed up for 3-5 minutes. According to Andrey Konev, diesel oil has the property of slightly thickening in the frosty season. Therefore, in order for the fuel in the filters to become more liquid, the car can still be warmed up for several minutes.

At the same time, many experts believe that even the highest quality synthetic oil becomes more viscous, and a cold engine runs for some time in conditions of a lack of lubrication, which is why there is a risk of metal friction. Therefore, the most destructive for the technique is to start moving immediately after starting with a sharp jerk.

Car service technicians explain that this applies primarily to cars with high mileage, but even for them it is enough to warm up the engine for five minutes. Because long idle downtime will also not bring any good to the vehicle technique. The best option is to warm up the engine for 3-5 minutes.

Hybrids and electric vehicles

Winter operation of hybrid cars and electric motors differs from standard gasoline and diesel engines. Because hybrid powertrains themselves determine the operating mode, and most often in the cold season, the electronics start the internal combustion engine after the car is turned on.

The recommendations are the same here, and no special warming up is required either. I pressed the start button, waited a couple of seconds for my own psychological calmness, the devices and headlights came on, after that you can go. For normal operation of the internal combustion engine oil system, even in severe frost, just a couple of seconds is enough. And the issue of warming up the electric motor is generally not worth it, because the operating instructions are prohibited to warm up the electric motor. It can only be cooled. In general, the colder the electric motor, the better. And the ideal temperature for an electric motor is absolute zero.