There are debates on whether or not we should let BMW warm up before driving, and there are many misconceptions too.
With every car I’ve ever owned throughout my 12 years of driving, from Toyota, to Lexus, Honda, and Chevrolet, allowing the engine to warm up before driving has never been my thing, and I’ve never experienced any major issues.
However, with my BMW, there are many opinions that it has to be treated differently, and it’s better to warm it up before hitting the road. My curiosity on this made me do a little deeper research to know if truly BMW does need to warm up, and here is what I found.
Should you warm up your BMW?
The short answer is NO, there is no need to warm up your BMW engine before driving because leaving it running while the vehicle remains stationary will foul up the engine with added carbon and contaminants, and also put increased wear on the components.
The best approach to starting your BMW car is to begin driving immediately but at a moderate speed – with low revs. Until the oil temp rises to optimum, don’t push the engine into the higher RPMs.
With this, you will be doing a lot of good to your car’s longevity. When the cold weather creeps in, it is commonly said that we need to warm the car for a few minutes before we begin driving.
But as we progress in this article, you will realize that this is not just a waste of valuable time and fuel, but also a cause of increased pollution.
The idea behind warming up cars before driving was well suited for vehicles that run on combustion engines which required igniting a mix of gasoline and air to trigger motion. And cars of this design needed a device called a carburetor to power up which might end up causing engine problems if not properly warmed up.
But since the late 1980s, manufacturers have slowly gotten rid of this to a better invention. So, the concerns about cold starts for cars are not much of a problem any longer, given that the likelihood of driving a car of such design these days is close to zero.
Warming up modern day BMW Cars
Most of the modern BMW cars, of which yours probably fall under, features electronic fuel injectors that settle evaporation problems by sensing cold weather and exuding extra gasoline into the gas-air mix.
In other words, the car engine is always ready from the get-go. Hence, idling your car releases extra gas into your engine which is of no use.
Now, when you do this, you might, at worse, damage your engine because the oils from the inside of your engine will now be stripped by the extra unevaporated gas in the mix, and consequently causing the wear and tear on its component.
However, this does not mean you shouldn’t give your car some time to warm up before driving, especially in extremely cold weather. The key here is to make sure that while you just start and go, you are not pushing it through until it warms up.
How do I know when my BMW is warmed up?
Most Automotive experts say it is ideal to warm up cars for a maximum of 30 seconds before you start driving, with an emphasis on winter times.
In the view of some BMW owners, the warming up should take between 15-20 seconds. However, a look at page 62 of the ’01 M5 BMW owner manual and the EPA advises against this, averring that the typical BMW engine warms up faster when being driven.
This rightly takes us back to the position reached above that it is better to turn your engine and go at a moderate pace than to leave it idling. As mentioned earlier, once you start driving, keep those revs low until the tech lights go out.
is it bad to idle a BMW?
Idling your BMW car means you leave the engine running while the vehicle is parked, and in the United States alone, many, many cars idle needlessly.
During a cold start, it is okay to let your engine idle because it can be considered as no load. This compensates for worries over what happens if you don’t warm up your BMW.
But, keep in mind that idling your car is never an effective way of warming up your BMW engine because the vehicle is made up of many moving parts. Hence, it is healthier for your car when you slowly drive- off to properly warm it up.
Final Thoughts on Warming Up the Bmw Engine
In summary, limiting the warm-up time of your BMW, and just any other car, is time-saving, fuel-conserving, and also environmentally-friendly.
BMW cars do not need extra time to warm up, you just have to start it and go but at moderate until the car reaches normal operating temp before you push it.
If you are still bent on using up to 30 seconds to warm your BMW each morning before driving, then you shouldn’t be surprised when I break it to you that, by calculation, you have wasted about 2 weeks of your life idling your cars…or more.