When it’s cold during the long winter months, your first thought in the morning is to warm up your frozen car before you head to work. It’s the logical thought and it’s been long believed that this action will prolong your car’s lifespan. Unfortunately, you’re doing more harm to your car than you probably think.

They Make Better Cars

Experts recommend driving your car right away instead of having it sit idle. Driving right away is the best solution to increase your car’s internal temperature. While it may have taken a while for your car to warm up in the past, today’s car models have engine control units (ECU) specifically designed to work in any weather climate, including freezing temperatures.

You could say, “My parents always warmed up their cars before driving.” We hate to break it to you, but that was in the past. Welcome to the future, where cars are designed to be better than ever before.

Increase In Leaks

Not only is warming up your car an ineffective practice, but there’s extra fuel that could get into the combustion chamber, increasing the possibility of leaks into the cylinder walls. As a result, this could lead to premature wear and tear in crucial parts of your car, including the cylinder liners and piston rings.

“That’s a problem because you’re actually putting extra fuel into the combustion chamber to make it burn and some of it can get onto the cylinder walls,” explained According to Argonne National Laboratory mechanical engineer Stephen Ciatti. “Gasoline is an outstanding solvent and it can actually wash oil off the walls if you run it in those cold idle conditions for an extended period of time.”

So, what’s the solution?

Start Driving

The best way to prevent damage to your car is to brush off the windows and mirrors of any frost, start up your car, and immediately drive off. Try not to push the gas pedal too hard. It might take about 10 to 15 minutes for the engine to fully warm up, but it’s better than the possibility of forming any leaks.

After all, you can always wear an extra coat. It’s more expensive to repair a combustion chamber.