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Want to know if you really need to warm up the car engine before driving, even during the cold winter months? AAA provides auto care tips that help you keep your vehicle running smoothly every season of the year.

Myth: To improve performance, particularly in cold weather, allow the engine to run for a few minutes before driving.

Fact: Start the engine and allow it to idle only for the time it takes you to fasten your seat belt. This ensures that lubricating oil gets to all of the engine's vital parts. Driving the car normally and avoiding hard acceleration brings the engine to a warmer temperature faster, and also reduces wear and exhaust emissions. Naturally, a little longer idle time is ok in winter while you clear snow and ice from the windshield and other car parts.

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