Cold Weather, warming up the car >? [Archive] - Forum


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12-14-2004, 10:11 PM
I know this is probably a stupid question, but does it HONESTLY make a difference if you warm up the car vs. driving it when the engine is cold and keeping the RPM's really low until it warms up? I usually warm my car up till the needle hits the 100 degree reading on the temp guage. Is this good or bad? I know I am probably wasting gas, but I didn't know if warming it up first would help preserve things like my LIM gaskets, or other parts of the car. If someone knows about this could you let me know?


What are the disadvantages and advantages to warming up the car long term?

12-15-2004, 03:30 AM
If the weather is real cold you should warm it up to get your engine fully lubricated before taking off. When the temperatures is cold the regular dyno oil gets thick and takes a few minutes to pump through out your engine giving it the protection it needs. How ever if you use synthetic, like Mobil One, that oil stays flowable and lubricates immediately.

12-15-2004, 04:35 AM
I usually start it up and go. Sometimes that means flooring it within 10 seconds of being started :/

Im one of those people that have never had any major problems with my car too ( no LIM leaks, etc....) *knocks on wood* Its just those small problems like window regulators going out, window clips breaking, cheap rattle interior that really pi$$ me off.

12-15-2004, 04:50 AM
I would defintely say give it some time to warm up. If you get right in it and drive, your going to heat the different components of the engine very quickly. Because they are not all the same material, they will warm up differently, and may cause some premature wear. You know that noise the 60 degree series is known for, what is called piston slap. Well, thats a cold engine not fitting together properly till it warms up. Putting a load (driving) before those parts are fitting snug is only going to add more wear and tear. I usually wait till I see the needle hit 100 before moving the car, and I don't bring it over 3000 till its at least 150.

12-15-2004, 06:08 AM
You really only need to warm up your car for about 30 - 45 seconds after starting it. That's enough time for the oil to start circulating to the whole engine.

12-15-2004, 06:15 AM
I was told to let mine warm up to prevent having the LIM gasket problem reoccur. I would let it warm up about 5-10 mins everytime [I'd start it in the garage then go back inside and finish getting ready]. I still ended up getting the LIM gasket problem again. ;\

12-15-2004, 07:06 AM
I let it warm for 5min in the cold, then drive slow because the tranny oil is still cold. And when the oil is cold it does not shift right. Once it get halfway to 200 I drive normal.

12-15-2004, 07:12 AM
Then again... I don't need to let my car warm up that much since it's parked in the garage most of the time. But, when it is outside, I usually only let it warm up for maximum of a minute. I have about a 3 minute drive until I get to the highway and by then the engine is at operating temp and my heated seats are going full blast. :D

12-15-2004, 07:17 AM
Consider this: at 1000 RPM's, your engine will have cycled nearly 17 times in one second. At only 600 RPM's, it's already cycled 10 times in a second. Your 5W30 oil should be good down to -18 C or so, at which point you should use a block heater to keep things warm.

I say, start it up, within 10 seconds, it's already cycled anywhere between 100 and 170 times, which ought to be plenty to lubricate everything. Just go easy on it until the temperature needle starts to rise, because as someone already mentioned here, there are different metals that need to expand (notably the pistons and the block).

12-15-2004, 07:22 AM
Yea, the other critical area that you don't want heating too fast is the heads and the block. Aluminum vs. steel, one heats up a lot quicker than the other, and that can cause problems. Lettting the tranny fluid warm a little is very important too, I know my tranny doesn't like to go when its very cool. 2 minutes of warming and its fine.

12-15-2004, 09:10 AM
i start it for a bout 5+ minutes with an auto starter and i just go on from there

12-15-2004, 03:14 PM
For you guys who just start your car and go try this. When the temperatures get to about 10 below zero and if your using regular dyno oil 5W-30 take that quart of oil and set it outside over night. Now take that quart of oil and try to poor it out and notice how long it takes to poor out. It gets pretty thick at that temp, and your engine it trying to pump that thick stuff up to your engine. This is when motor damage happens, those parts aren't getting the lubrication it needs. Also if you want to compare synthetic oil vs dyno do that, the synthetic will flow out of the quart alot faster then the dyno oil will.
I did this test and after talking to a few mechanics and looking up info on it i switched to synthetic. Most of my trips are short 2 1/2 mile trips to work, and when the temps get to 15 to 20 below zero i want the best protection posible for my car.
Anyway this is still just my opinion and you guys can do what you want.
Happy Holidays

12-15-2004, 03:37 PM
I let it warm up for 5-10 sec in the summer and 30-60 sec in the winter before driving off. When I do start driving I keep (or try my best to) the rpms as low as possible (no higher than about 2300) until the car is fully warmed up. If you just let your car idle to warm up it takes longer and wastes gas. But it is a good idea to give it at least a few seconds for the oil to move around (that doesn't take 5 mins). Then take it easy until it's warm. Not letting the engine warm up will result in problems later (maybe much later) in the engines life.

02-22-2008, 07:32 PM
so bringing this back...... dont they say that today's engines dont need to be warmed up much? i mean, when its very cold i try my best to let it run a few mins but still. are we just wasting time/gas/money on it or not?

02-22-2008, 10:57 PM
Todays engines aren't much different form the engines of 1998. I'd let it warm up for about 30 seconds to let the oil circulate, then start driving while being ginger with the throttle.

The load of driviing is going to help your engine warm much faster than if it were sitting idle. Just be sure to keep the revs down for a little while. Also, using a high quality synthetic helps with cold starts.

02-22-2008, 11:44 PM
I let mine warm up for 5 minutes or so.

02-22-2008, 11:57 PM
that sounds pretty reasonable. its basically common sense. dont jump in your car that was sitting outside all night in 0*F weather, turn the key, slam it in reverse, gun it, throw it in drive and spin the tires taking away. does cold affect ABS too? or anything else?

02-23-2008, 01:44 PM
Let it "warm" up for a maximum of a minute. That's plenty of time. I usually start going after about 5-10 seconds. Just keep the RPM's low and you'll be fine.

02-23-2008, 01:47 PM
When Im not in a hurry to get somewhere, I'll warm my car up for 10 minutes or so. If I dont warm it up, I keep it under 3k rpms till it hits at least 150*

02-24-2008, 08:23 PM
i usually let it run 5 min.then drve away slowly for a couple,then drive normal.i hate to drive away 10 seconds after while the engine is running fast.

02-24-2008, 09:07 PM
Letting it idle for anymore then 30 seconds to 1 minute is wasting gas, and wearing out the engine, doing nothing else.

I let it sit for 30 to 60 seconds, then I just take it easy on the throttle, mind you even in the summer time I never jam on my throttle anyways, it looks cooler to drive properly instead of doing 140 down the freeway.

02-25-2008, 06:22 AM
ummm is anyone taking into consideration that when the car is in open loop, the egr and the evap systems dont work as they would in a closed loop, thus "wasting gas". in the winter i always let mine warm up at least 10 minutes for this reason.

02-25-2008, 06:10 PM
ummm is anyone taking into consideration that when the car is in open loop, the egr and the evap systems dont work as they would in a closed loop, thus "wasting gas". in the winter i always let mine warm up at least 10 minutes for this reason.

It's funny because letting your car sit you're wasting gas too. I'd rather get 15mpg instead of 0mpg.

02-25-2008, 06:28 PM
So long as you let it warm up for a minute or two and don't stomp on it til you're good and warmed up its fine.

02-26-2008, 03:54 PM
It's funny because letting your car sit you're wasting gas too. I'd rather get 15mpg instead of 0mpg.

and I thought you use less gas at idle rathar than when the engine is under load