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Watching A Frozen Engine Warm Up With A Thermal Camera

Let’s face it, you’ve always wondered what your engine looks like when it’s warming up. Any season, any time, we probably have never taken the time to set up a thermal camera and see exactly what happens when we start our cars. There’s also the fact that none of us likely have access to or own a thermal camera.

Thanks to one of our favorite car channels on YouTube, Engineering Explained, we can now see exactly what happens when you crank the engine on a bitter cold morning. Jason, the presenter, points the camera at the engine of his personal Subaru XV Crosstrek and turns the engine over. This rare glimpse into how and engine warms up also gives us greater insight in to what benefits or detriments there are to pre-heating a car on a cold morning. Jason maintains that it’s still not necessary to warm your car up fully before driving away, which I agree with, and we see how, where, and when the engine warms itself up.

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This is pretty awesome!

What I found most interesting is that the engine knowingly idles higher to warm itself up, then drops the RPM down as it gets warmer. What a great look into the mechanics of what happens on a cold morning.

Written by Gregson

Gregson's love affair with cars began at a young age thanks to his father who introduced him to racing. He's been a fan ever since he saw his first race live at Watkins Glen at the age of 5. He loves GT3, F1, Rally, Touring, and Le Mans styles of racing. Intermediate knowledge of internal combustion engines. Any reading done for pleasure is devoted to automotive journalism. Gregson owns a WRX and can 4-wheel drift directly into your hedges, no sweat. He currently is a Senior Copywriter for McCann Torre Lazur specializing in pharmaceutical advertising. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Kate and their dog Savannah.

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