In the past, the common practice was to “gear up and let it idle to warm up my car’s engine.” However, contrary to this former best practice, this strategy does not prolong the life of your engine. In fact, it strips oil away from the engine's cylinders and pistons.
In an internal combustion engine, pistons compress a mixture of air and vaporized fuel within each of the engine’s cylinders. The mixture is then ignited to create a combustion event, like a small, controlled explosion that powers the engine.
But, when your engine is cold, the gasoline is less likely to evaporate and create the correct ratio of air and vaporized fuel for these small explosions. Engines with electronic fuel injection have sensors that compensate for the cold by pumping more gasoline into the mixture. The engine continues to run this way until it heats up to about 40 degrees.