Now that the temperature is beginning to drop, many drivers are looking into winter car accessories and cold-weather driving tips. One of the most common misconceptions about winter driving, however, is the need to “warm up” your engine before driving off. Here, we’ll discuss how long it takes for a Toyota vehicle engine to heat up when it’s cold out as well as what you can do to make sure your engine is running as efficiently as possible.
You may also like: What does my Toyota check engine light mean?
Do you need to heat up your engine in the winter?
In short, no, your car does not need to idle in order for the engine to warm up when it’s cold outside. In fact, it really only needs about 30 seconds before you can start your journey. That being said, it’s best to take it easy for the first 10 minutes or so of your drive. Your engine still needs time to warm up before it is able to run at its full potential, but driving, rather than idling, is much better for heating up your engine.
If you happen to have ice or snow on your vehicle, it may take some time for you to scrape it off, and a warm vehicle might make it easier to do so. In that case, letting your vehicle idle to warm up may be the safer option.
Why did people warm up their cars before driving?
The notion of letting your car idle before driving in the winter used to be more necessary when carbureted engines were the norm. Since they mix gasoline and air and run on vaporized fuel, it was imperative to let your vehicle heat up. Otherwise, you could risk stalling and causing damage to the engine. However, it’s been more than 30 years since carbureted engines were commonplace in vehicles, so that’s not something the general majority of drivers needs to worry about today.
If you would like to make sure your car is winter-ready, feel free to contact our team at Toyota Vacaville or schedule a service appointment online.