Warning about warming up your car

Posted at 5:51 PM, Feb 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-11 18:10:11-05

Each morning Regina Hinojosa turns on her car and then finishes getting ready for work.

"When I have time, I try to at least let it warm up for 20 or 30 minutes before I jump in to go to work," she said. "I don't want it to end up freezing up on me on the highway or something."

And while that lets the inside of her car warm up, the service team at Shaheen Chevrolet said not only does that waste gas, but 30 minutes is too long.

"Of course, as in anything in the matter of science, the warmer the oils, the warmer the engine is, the more closer to operating temperature it is, the better and easier it is on everything," said Service Manager, Tom Hernly.

But, today's vehicles can handle it if you need to just hop in and go, because driving actually warms your engine up faster.

Hernly explained, "Because you have a lot more functions going on. Not only do you have the heat from the brakes and from the drive train and the transmissions and different things like that, but you've got a load on the engine."

But, be careful.

"When it is 0 outside or 10 degrees, just take it easy for the first couple of stops and the first couple of miles that you're driving," Hernly said. "Brakes are a friction item, so you want to make sure things are warmed up a little bit."

That's why he suggests if you can spare 5 to 10 minutes, you should. That's typically how long it takes for your windows to defrost, so you can safely see around you.

It's advice that's saving drivers a lot of time.

Shaheen also suggests turning off your windshield wipers on cold nights. This will keep them from trying to move the next morning while frozen on the windshield, which could cause them to break.