Winter Driving Tips

January 30th, 2013 by

Dispelling Winter Auto Myths: Warming Up the Car

Winter-Driving-ConditionsThere are dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of common myths about automobiles and their performance, and there’s a certain segment of them that relate to winter driving. With winter fast approaching and the mercury dipping further every day, I thought it could be useful to dispel one of these and take a little stress off your mind this winter.

One of the most prominent myths around driving in the winter is about letting your car warm up. You do not need to let your car warm up any more in the winter than in the dead of summer; vehicles are, for the most part, ready to drive once you turn the ignition.

I can hear you thinking “but what about my oil?” right about now. When the temperature drops, viscous fluids like oil can become less efficient at doing what they do, making your engine less efficient and possibly risking damage to it, right? Well, not really.

You see, while your oil will be a bit sludgy due to the temperature, car engines heat up very quickly. The fact that they get to temperatures much higher than a warm summer day means that your oil will be at standard operating temperature far more quickly than you think. By the time you’re ready to be on your way, your oil should be good to go.

The truth is, the only thing you gain by letting your car warm up is a slightly warmer heater when you finally head on your way. Of course, it would have warmed up much faster if you were driving, and you wouldn’t have wasted all that gas.

If you’re really concerned, though, one of the most important things you can do is bring your car in to a service center for a winterizing tune-up, where technicians take a look at common winter auto issues and fix them up. This usually involves checking the brakes and battery as well as an oil change. Winter tires are a good idea too, if you can afford them.

Bring your car in to our service experts before the first snowfall; make sure you’re all set for safe winter driving.

Posted in Driver Safety