Q: Dear Doug, Do I need to warm up my car before I drive it?
Harold T., Ellicottville
A: Hi Harold!
Back in the old days (when cars were carbureted instead of fuel injected), we were all taught that we needed to go outside about 10 minutes before we wanted to leave our house in order to get the car started and warmed up, especially when the temps outside were freezing or below.
But engines have changed, and so have the times. There is no reason to leave your car idling for several minutes unless you are trying to warm up the interior or defrost the windshield before you go down the road (or you just like to waste gas).
That being said, it is a good idea to let your fuel-injected car idle for a minute or two in extremely cold (sub-zero) weather and always drive it gently (low speeds and no sudden accelerating/stopping) until the engine gets warm.