Key Takeaways

  • Warming up your car in the summer is not necessary.
  • Your engine doesn’t need extra time to warm up to operating temperature in the summer.
  • There are many disadvantages to warming up your car in the summer.
  • Regularly scheduled maintenance is important to carry out.
  • Warming up your car engine in the summer wastes fuel.

This post may include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we'll receive a commission at no extra cost to you. This support helps us maintain and grow our site. Thank you for your support!

Warming up your car is a pastime that’s been around for decades. But should you warm up in the summer? And are there any benefits?

Warming up your car in the summer is not necessary and can be wasteful. Unlike in cold weather, your engine doesn’t need extra time to warm up to operating temperature in the summer. Idling your car for an extended amount of time can consume unnecessary fuel and contribute to air pollution.

I’m a mechanic with five years experience diagnosing and repairing vehicles. I receive training on the latest and most recently released automotive technology. I received my degree in automotive repair and am ASE certified. I use the latest tools and software to repair and diagnose vehicles.

Table of Contents

Warming Up Car In Summer

During summer months, many drivers may be wondering if they need to warm up their car before driving. While it’s common practice to get your car warm in the winter, it’s less clear if this is necessary during the warmer months.

In general, warming up your car in the summer is not necessary and can be wasteful. Unlike in cold weather, your engine doesn’t need extra time to warm up to operating temperature in the summer. In fact, letting your car idle for an extended amount of time increases pollution and can consume fuel, which is unnecessary.

Modern cars are designed to operate efficiently in a wide range of temperatures, including hot summer weather. When you start your car, the engine's computer system automatically adjusts the fuel mixture to provide the optimal air-fuel ratio for the current temperature and conditions.

The engine’s computer makes use of electronic fuel injection to do this.

This means that your car is ready to drive as soon as you start it, without the need for extra warm-up time. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. If you are driving an older car or a car that has a tendency to stall or experience other issues when it's first started, it may be helpful to let it idle for a minute or two before driving.

This can give the engine time to stabilize and prevent any potential issues from occurring while you're on the road.

Engine oil needs to warm up in the winter since when it’s cold it gets more viscous. In the summer, this isn’t the case. The oil pump will have no issues pushing lukewarm oil that lives in the oil pan through the oil passages in the summer. Compared to the winter, on fuel injected engines, oil might not flow so freely.

You will also be saving your vehicle extra engine wear by not starting your vehicle to warm up in the summer. The vehicle gets to full operating temperature just as soon as

Additionally, if you live in a particularly hot climate and need to cool down the interior of your car before driving, you may want to run the air conditioning for a few minutes before setting off. This can make your ride more comfortable and reduce the need for open windows, which can increase wind resistance and decrease fuel efficiency.

In some cases, you may also need to warm up your car if you plan to operate certain accessories, such as power windows or a high-powered audio system. These accessories can place additional strain on the engine, and warming up the car for a few minutes can help ensure that it gets to normal operating temperature.

Overall, it's best to use your best judgment based on your specific car and driving conditions. If in doubt, consult your car's owner's manual or a qualified mechanic for advice. In general, however, there's no need to warm up your car in the summer, and doing so can actually be wasteful and harmful to the environment.

By starting your car and driving away immediately, you can save fuel, reduce emissions, and enjoy a more efficient and sustainable ride.

Disadvantages Of Warming Up Your Car In The Summer

Like stated above, warming up your car in sub zero temperatures might be good for your car’s engine. Cold engines have a tendency to pump thick motor oil through them. As well, the coolant might be cold, causing the temperature gauge to be low. But cold temperatures are really the only time you want to warm up engine components.

There are some major disadvantages to warming up modern vehicles in summer months, since the atmospheric heat makes the engine warm already.

  • Fuel consumption: Warming up your car engine in the summer wastes fuel. The engine will consume more fuel during idling than it would while driving, which can increase your fuel expenses and also harm the environment by increasing emissions.
  • Engine wear: Allowing your car to idle for an extended period can cause unnecessary wear and tear on the engine. This can reduce the lifespan of your engine and increase repair costs over time.
  • Battery drain: If your car's air conditioning or other electrical components are left on while idling, it can drain the battery and cause starting issues in the future.
  • Safety concerns: Leaving your car running while unattended can create safety concerns, as it can be stolen or accidentally engaged and cause an accident.

In summary, there are no real benefits to warming up your car in the summer. It is best to start the car and let it idle for a minute or two, then drive off slowly to allow the engine to warm up gradually.

Regular Maintenance

As always, keeping your car in good working order is important. By performing regular maintenance, you are ensuring your car’s health. Here are some common maintenance items that should be performed on your car:

  • Oil change: Changing the oil and oil filter at the recommended intervals will help keep your engine running smoothly and extend its lifespan.
  • Tire rotation and balancing: Rotating and balancing your tires at regular intervals can help ensure even wear, extend tire life, and improve fuel efficiency.
  • Brake inspection: Regular brake inspections can help prevent brake failure and keep you safe on the road.
  • Air filter replacement: Replacing the air filter at the recommended interval can help improve fuel efficiency and prolong the life of your engine.
  • Coolant flush: Flushing the coolant system at the recommended interval can help prevent engine overheating and prolong the life of your engine.
  • Transmission service: Regular transmission service can help prevent transmission failure and extend the life of your vehicle.
  • Battery check: Checking the battery regularly can help prevent starting issues and avoid being stranded with a dead battery.
  • Suspension inspection: Regular suspension inspections can help prevent premature wear of tires and other components, leading to better handling and a smoother ride.
  • Windshield wiper replacement: Replacing worn-out wiper blades can help ensure clear visibility in rainy or snowy conditions.

By performing these common maintenance items, you can help ensure your car stays in good working condition and avoid costly repairs down the road. It is recommended to consult your vehicle owner's manual for the recommended maintenance schedule specific to your car.

Should I Warm Up My Car In The Summer?

About The Author

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks has been servicing vehicles since 2012. After completing the automotive studies program at Camden County College, he was awarded an Associates's Degree in Applied Science. His first job was a lube-tech at Jiffy Lube, and is currently an independent B-Technician servicing vehicles for the United States Postal Service. Christopher is ASE certified and loves rebuilding engines.

Read more about Christopher Sparks