Should You Warm Up Your Car’s Engine Before Driving? Myth Busted

Should You Warm Up Your Car’s Engine Before Driving? Myth Busted

one, two, three, four! Rev up your engines! It’s time for the Scotty Kilmer Channel today I’m going to help you answer the
question, should I warm up my engine before I drive it or not, and to answer
that question correctly, we’re going to have a little history lesson here, when I
was young everything had carburetors on them, and I’m so old they actually had hand chokes on them, and chokes make them idle faster, when you pulled on them, they idle
faster, and once they warmed up you turned to choke off, so you had to warm
them up before you drove them, and then they had carburetors that had electronic
chokes on them, you didn’t have to pull any cable, it was all done automatically,
but you still want to start it up let it warm up a little bit then hit the gas,
it would idle down some, and then drive, but even with modern carburation, it
still wouldn’t get the air fuel ratio perfect, so the car would run well and
wouldn’t damage the engine by running too rich or too lean, then the game
changer came, which was fuel injector, now this is a 24 year old Toyota Celica,
it’s got electronic fuel injection but it’s an older system, it doesn’t have a
MAF sensor to measure how much air is coming into the engine, and it only has
one oxygen sensor to monitor the air-fuel ratio, the modern cars have many
different sensors, some as many as four and the modern ones don’t even call the
front one oxygen sensor, they call them air fuel ratio sensors, they’re much
faster and much more accurate, so the engine will always get the right amount
of fuel no matter what the temperature, humidity, or whatever, it finally got cold
here in Houston, so I can show you the difference, here’s the 24-year old one
when I start it up cold, you can see it’s idling pretty high as
it warms up, but here’s it more modern Toyota Matrix, and watch the difference
when it starts up ice-cold, you can see even though it’s ice-cold, it’s idling
much lower than the older one was, because it’s got a much more complicated
fuel injection system that can meter things better, and this is still a ten
year old one, the newer ones are even more sophisticated, so in any modern day
car, you don’t need to warm up the engine before you drive, but of course, you have
to be logical about this, if your car’s covered in snow and ice, you got to
let it warm up, so you’re warm inside and you get the snow and ice off, and I know
some guys will say, well I want my engine to warm up, so the oil flows,
modern cars use very lightweight oils they flow immediately, unless you live
where it’s 50 below or something, you don’t have to worry about the oil not
flowing in any modern car, so now you know, unless you’re driving some old
antique that’s got carburetors on it, you don’t need to warm up your engine before
you drive, and remember if you’ve got any car questions, just visit the Scotty Kilmer Channel.

About the Author: Michael Flood


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  2. Your videos have given me life! I'm a young female and have used your videos to do all my own work! I have a 07 charger and it idles 2000 RPMs when I start it . I always let it sit for 3 mins or so until it idles around 1500 RPMs or lower .. is that not ok ? Should I not be doing this ?

  3. i dont understand my kia proceed 1.6 204 hp t gdi engine goes to 2000 rpm then goes back to less than 1000 rpm .. my car from 2013 !!

  4. I thought it was meant to help with contration and expansion of metal parts. Metal when its cold shrinks and revving a cold engine might wear out the cylinders and piston rings and other moving parts

  5. When it gets down in the teens or especially 0 degrees I still think its prolly a good idea. It's not like it's gonna hurt anything

  6. I was always told to warm up the engine in freezing weather because of possible damage to the automatic transmission. The oil transmission oil cooling loop goes on the radiator. Warm coolant warms the transmission oil preventing damage in freezing weather.

  7. Warm up is a must! Doesn't matter injection or carburetor. It makes less stress to the engine. Even couple minutes is very beneficial.

  8. Either way, I just feel better if I give my 2014 Honda
    Accord a little time to wake up before I put it into gear. I am sure it doesn't

    Back in the seventies when I lived in in Cleveland Ohio I
    drove a Toyota Celica. We can get some bitter cold winter days up there in
    January and February. That wind would just come roaring down from Canada and
    across Lake Erie with nothing in its path to slow it down or stop it as it
    slammed into the city of Cleveland. Pretty brutal to say the least. Back then I
    would let my car warm up about fifteen minutes on a cold start before I put it
    into gear.

    I would just plan for that time.

    Cleveland winters can be really tough on cars. Besides
    dealing with the brutal cold windy days, there was snow, ice covered cars that
    you couldn’t even get your car doors open, driving in dirty salty slushy roads
    that the slush would accumulate in your wheel wells and would sometimes inhibit
    your ability to turn your wheels, salty slush getting into and on your
    electrical connections, and even though you had your cars underside coated with
    a rust prevention coating, eventually nature would win out and it would wear
    through the coating and start rusting out your under carriage, and once it made
    a hole in your door panel the salty slush would get inside of your door and
    start rusting your car from the inside out.

    Glad in live in the south now. Yeah, it’s hot and humid here
    in the summer……… but………. I don’t have to shovel the sunshine.

  9. This video was partially true. Yes, you don't have to warm up your fuel injected car in winter. But you better baby your car on the road, until it warms up! Try taking some slow side streets, before you tromp on that gas pedal. The QUICKEST way to RUIN an engine is to take a cold engine and run it like you are a NASCAR driver the second you turned it on. Racing cold engine parts that haven't thermally expanded to running temperature, damages the hell out of the entire engine. Cold engines account for up to 50% of fuel consumption in the winter.

  10. Scotty
    I have an 02 crown vic (not the p71 just a normal one) i like to heat it up before i go to work in the cold months of Ohio. Does this hurt my car? It has 165k miles and runs 5w-20 oil?
    ~Sam Cincinnati Ohio

  11. Follow your owners manual people. My Toyota Rav4s (2006 and new 2019 hybrid) both say warm up engine 30 SECONDS before driving. And I live in Canada where it's cold. Drive easy for first few minutes especially if it's really cold out. Done.

  12. In Minnesota you want your car to warm up so the defrost works when you are ready to drive,especially in really cold weather.

  13. This guy is one of the biggest idiots. Yeah just hop on in a cold car and take off. That’s like running a marathon when you get out of bed

  14. your car requires zero warm up if fully electric. Otherwise anything with GASOLINE & OIL & METAL… WILL REQUIRE FUCKIN WARM UP if you want a long lasting car or care about your money…

  15. The 85 AMC Cj-7 w/a 258 inline 6 cylinder, Garbage Motors throttle body, Ford computer brain, and Ford distributor, has to thoroughly warm up or it runs TERRIBLE….this is the first AMC product I've owned, and I've never had a vehicle need to warm up like this Jeep does, it's crazy…..

  16. Metals expand and contract with heat and cold. If you like hearing metallic tapping noises from your valve train or are a fan of lower end knocking. Start that thing up and stand on the gas.

  17. I cant stand aftermarket remote starts. I have an alternative similar to that used in police vehicles.

    Although not as much in the summer I wont deny I may get up and go here and there.

    But during cold months I may run my vehicles extensively before driving. And when its brutal cold. Ill leave them on at all times

  18. Recently I've been having a auto choke problem on a cold start. Very iratic idling and spitting and Sometimes cutting out. So I decide to drive gently from cold start and seems and the ECU seems to have fixed the problem.

  19. What about piston slap? And if you give someone an inch they'll take a mile, meaning if you tell them it's okay, just take it easy, they'll hear "hell yeah just start it and go man, magic tech."?

  20. I always start my car and gas it to 8000 rpm for faster engine warm up. It only takes me about 5 seconds with the gas to the floor before I'm ready to go.

  21. This guy is a mechanic? You have oil to think about as well. You should let the engine warm up so the oil is thinner and moves around and lubricates everything correctly. That’s why some cars have a tick until they get warm, because the valve lifters haven’t got enough oil in them yet

  22. Scotty looks like that Chevy might be burnin a little earl there…typical GM. I guess it's true never buy a car from a mechanic. They don't like to bring their work home with them. Just kidding, not about the GM, I meant that lol. I'm a huge fan brother.👍

  23. I've heard you don't have to warm up newer cars. Mario Andreti did a commercial saying it could actually damage the motor. But you do have to give the oil time to get to the heads though no?? I do let my idle kick down because I'd imagine a high idle from park to drive would be bad on trans or u-joints??

  24. my neighbor never warms up his engine in the morning . he just starts the car and leaves. 3 days ago his car broke down for the 5th time.

  25. That's not right…even new cars need to warm up a bit to start driving…at least 2 mins…but in cold winter I let it run for 5-7 mins.

    And for the first 1 km/h don't push it cause the transmission and diffy needs warm up as well.

  26. I have an 09 Mazda 6, when it's below freezing it usually idles at 2krpm for maybe 5 seconds, then drops to 1500 for another 6 seconds before dropping to its regular speed.

  27. If my truck is iced over, I HAVE to let it warm up to defrost all the windows so I can see out. It can take forever to do it by hand.

  28. I wonder if there are any other reasons to let it warm up? Like gradually warming up gaskets or other parts to help prevent cracking? Maybe waiting a while until you go to 7000rpm, letting it warm up for a couple minutes cannot hurt , except for a few cents/pence in fuel?

  29. Let's be honest guys. There are many women out there driving cars. Manufacturers wouldn't allow engines to get damaged when owned by someone who shows no mechanical sympathy.

    On another note – All this talk about warming the engine UP, well how about warming down?! I've heard of people refusing to cut their engine until they've let it idle after a hard drive.


  31. You missed one point, engines before made from different metals that got affected by high temperature changes happen in the engine.

  32. No one….


  33. Its the Piston rings rubbing against the Cylinder. When its cold its Zero Zero clearance, meaning the diameter is the same therefore when its cold its tight. Warm it up by idling it, otherwise you’ll wear the piston rings leaving tiny film of oil to the cylinders causing some black exhaust and consuming oil. Idle is at low RPM compare to an accelerating car at 3,000 maybe 5,000 RPM and its wrong when engine is cold

  34. Well, actually they do need warmed up for a lot of us poor bastards. When you live in cold climates and have no garage. 15 minutes is the minimum, at least if you want to see out of the windshield that is.

  35. Hey Scotty I like your videos and I'm also Toyota fan. I have a question I have a Mazda RX-8 it does have very sophisticated sensors but it is a rotary engine do you think I should warm it up or not

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