Are You Just Wasting Gas When Warming Up Your Car?

2016 Chevy Traverse

Warming up your Traverse or other vehicle may be a waste of time on trips longer than a few minutes.


It’s an age old question that many mechanics are unable to answer: should you warm up your car? Although people in colder climates have to worry about this issue more, people in places like California still have to consider the importance of warming up your car.

So does it matter? Well, the truth is that it does and it doesn’t. According to a recent article in the Washington Post, warming up your car was more important when most cars came with carburetors; however, most modern cars (built after 1990) have electronic fuel injection. With this innovative technical advancement, warming up your car might just be a waste of gas.

It is important if you have a carbureted car because it can increase efficiency by making the engine hotter; however, it’s not absolutely necessary. Nevertheless, there are some situations you should consider giving your car 30 seconds or so, like if you’re planning on driving for less than five minutes. If the engine doesn’t have enough time to get hot and evaporate water in the system, it can build up and cause serious problems.

In conclusion, only warm up your car if you’re not planning on driving very far. Otherwise, it may just be a waste of gas.