Question: How long should I warm my car up before driving?
Answer: In almost all circumstances you should NOT warm up your car before driving. This is the most destructive time for the engine and its related parts The quicker it warms up the better. Your car will warm up much faster driving than just sitting there idling and you will save fuel.
Q: Is it important to idle my vehicle for a few minutes to warm up the engine in winter?
A: No. Tests show that you need no more than 30 seconds of idling to circulate the engine oil before you drive away on cold days. Anything longer just wastes money and produces needless greenhouse gas emissions. Remember, more than the engine needs to be warmed - so do the tires, transmission, wheel bearings and other moving parts. As well, the catalytic converter doesn't function at its peak until it reaches between 400°C and 800°C. The best way to warm the engine and all other components is to drive your vehicle. Also, using a block heater will allow the engine to start more easily and reach its peak operating temperature faster. In temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius, block heaters can improve overall fuel economy by as much as 10 percent or more.