Protecting your car and home in the winter

Warming up your car in the cold can actually be harmful to your car's engine

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – When it’s cold, many drivers turn on their cars and wait to warm it up.

“I don’t start driving it immediately, but I make sure to start the engine right when i get to the car,” said Loren Kramer of Greenfield.

“I try to start it a little earlier before I go to work make sure its kind of warm for me,” said Joe Howard of Greenfield. “I usually run it for five or ten minutes in the morning.”

The concept of warming up your car in the cold can actually be harmful to your car’s engine and decrease the life of it. Letting your car warm up is only recommended for carbureted engines. These engines were common in cars 30 years ago.

“Best way to warm up a car in this extreme cold is to start the car and let it run for a minute or two, and then literally drive it,” said Ed Malikowski, Manager of Mal Bros Auto Body. “It will get hotter faster that way, than let it sitting there idling for 20 minutes or a half hour.”

Malikowski told 22News warming a car up any longer than a couple minutes wastes fuel.

The cold can also be hard on your home. Experts recommend insulating electrical outlets and switches, closing your garage door, and closing drapes and blinds, except when windows are in direct sunlight. If you heat with oil make sure the tank is full and if you use wood or coal, stock up.

Be sure to regularly check your tires air pressure, which tends to be lower in the cold.

More Information:
Local Forecast Severe WX Text Alerts
Temperatures Severe WX Email Alerts
Weather News Live Area Webcams
Interactive Radar Winter Safety Checklist