Don’t Warm Your Engine In Cold Weather Say Experts

Thu 27th Dec 2018

A frosty start in your car could shorten the life of your engine if you don’t listen to this expert advice.

Though the UK hasn’t experienced any lengthy spells of sub-zero so far this winter, there have still been the odd day or two where your car needs de-icing. However, whereas we have previously thought that leaving the engine idling will help the car’s engine, experts are now warning that it could actually be doing your car more harm than good.

Speaking recently in the Business Insider, mechanical engineer and former drag racer, Stephen Ciatti said: “That’s a problem because you’re actually putting extra fuel into the combustion chamber to make it burn and some of it can get onto the cylinder walls.

“Gasoline is an outstanding solvent and it can actually wash oil off the walls if you run it in those cold idle conditions for an extended period of time.

“Idling isn’t really getting the engine up to temperature, and until that happens the little brain box on the engine is going to keep sending rich-fuel mixture to the cylinders so that it can ensure that enough is evaporated for a consistent combustion event.”

Most modern cars have in-built technology which compensates for cold weather, these include sensors within fuel-injection systems which allow more petrol into the mix when it is cold.

The idea of a cold start being bad for an engine stretches back a couple of generations to a time when carburettors made up many of the engines.

In Popular Mechanics, Volvo’s own advice says: “It’s best to just give the engine a few seconds to build oil pressure before driving normally. Good oil quality and condition are crucial for protecting the engine in cold start conditions.”