Why You Need to Warm Your Car

Mother nature isn't being kind to us right now. It's cold and we don't like it. You know what else doesn't like the cold? Our cars. 


Single-digit temperatures strain our vehicles the worst during the first start of the day. The reason being is that the oil in our cars has settled to the bottom of the oil pan and its viscosity, ability to flow, is seriously less than it needs to be. 

To put less strain on your car's engine, warm it before you start moving. Now, you don't need to warm it for 20 minutes. Not even 10 minutes. All you need to do is let your car idle for a minute or two. This allows for the oil to get circulated and to a viscosity level that won't negatively affect your motor.

Worried about the wasted gas? There are easy steps you can take to counteract the gas you use to get your engine oil up to temperature. 

  • If you have a garage, park in it. The protection of a garage will trap some heat and make it easier to get your car warmer. Just be sure to crack the door when you start your car.  

  • Combine trips. Plan your day so that you don't have to make multiple trips. If you need to run to the store but you have to pick your child up from practice, time it to where you can get your shopping done by the end of practice. 

  • Check your tire pressure regularly, even if you have nitrogen-filled tires. Extreme temperatures like what we're going through can fluctuate the psi (pounds per square inch) in your tires. If the psi is low, there will be more rolling resistance meaning your car needs to use more energy to keep it moving which means more gas consumed. Any of our service centers can check your tire pressures for you!

  • If you have a plug-in/plug-in hybrid, preheat the cabin of your car while it's still plugged in. It takes a ton of electric energy to heat your car, which could reduce your efficiency by up to 30 percent. 

  • Instead of using the cabin heater, use your seat warmers. It takes far less energy to run seat warmers than to use the cabin heater. 

If winter has taken too much of a toll on your current car, stop by any Tom Wood Automotive dealership and trade it in for a new one! 

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