Do Modern Diesel Engines Need To Warm Up?

Diesel engines are used in various industrial applications, finding their way to automobiles.

With that being said, there have been evident innovations in this technology throughout the decades, updating old systems for exceptional quality appropriate for today.  

Warming up diesel engines before driving was a system used in automobiles. But does it still hold today? 

Old vs. Modern Diesel Engines

The video explains how to differentiate between an old and a new diesel engine. It discusses how the manufacturing year of your engine influences whether or not you should warm up your engine before driving off.

Below is a comprehensive guide between an old and new diesel engine.

Carburetors on Old Diesel Engines

Cars back then used carburetors, which included a component known as a choke. People used to pull on the chokes to get their cars to idle and start warming up. Carbureted cars need to warm up because they can poorly run if they don’t.

Today, people still warm up their cars before driving, even in modern cars, because the practice was required for older engines. Up to this day, that practice has been carried on.

Modern Diesel Engines

Cars nowadays don’t use carburetors and can start and run smoothly without a lengthy warm-up period.

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Even in cold weather, a modern car does not need to be warmed up unless you drive around in places where the temperature is below freezing. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need an engine block heater?

In some cases, yes. It is good to plug in your diesel engine’s block heater, especially if you live in a cold climate.

Even when modern diesel engines use modern oils, cold temperatures can cause the oil’s viscosity and require time to warm up. 

When you use a block heater, you warm up your car when it is not used. This way, you can start driving your car without waiting for it to warm up.

A block heater isn’t really necessary in warm places like California or Florida because the weather is already warm.

If you prefer not to use an engine block heater, you can use diesel additives like kerosene to reduce viscosity even at low temperatures.

How long should I let my car idle?

If you have a carbureted engine, you only need 30 seconds of idling time, whether your engine is cold or not.

Idling your car is no longer necessary for modern engines. However, if you still want to do so, allowing your car to idle for about 30 seconds is sufficient to get things started. 

Is idling bad for my car’s engine?

In older car models, it is not bad to idle. It is safer to let them idle and warm up before hitting the road.

However, when it comes to modern cars, you should not let them idle because it is harmful to your engine and has a negative environmental impact.

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Idling is fine once in a while, but doing so too frequently can waste fuel. When stuck in traffic or waiting for someone to run to the store, it is best to turn off your car instead.

Is it necessary to warm up a modern diesel engine?

Unlike older models, you don’t need to warm up your modern diesel engine because they are designed to warm up as soon as you start them.

However, you should not rev up your car immediately until it has reached its normal operating temperature.

For other people, it’s a common practice for them to warm up their car before they can start driving. When you warm up your car, you let the oil circulate your engine, allowing it to lubricate moving parts before you can start driving. 

However, you no longer need to worry about warming up your engine to thaw gelled oil in modern vehicles. Modern automobiles use very light oils that flow immediately after starting the engine.

Idling can increase overall engine wear by causing the vehicle to run for longer than necessary. Besides, modern engines can warm up faster when driven than left idle.