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Old 12-18-2000, 11:08 AM   #1
8Complex

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Post Just how bad ARE those cold starts?

Man I hate this H4. Sounds like I've got a really bad rod knock when I first start it up in the morning. So how bad IS that noise?

Would switching to 0W30 help? I'm running 5W30 Mobil1 right now, but I've also got a turbo kit on it's way in late January so I have to take that into consideration as well.
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Old 12-18-2000, 11:14 AM   #2
RidinLow
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How cold is it in the morning?
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Old 12-18-2000, 11:45 AM   #3
8Complex

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Probably around 10F or so lately. I keep it in the garage, but it doesn't help much. :-/
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Old 12-18-2000, 11:54 AM   #4
Kevin Thomas
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8Complex,

I hate it too. My car sounds like a big diesel truck outside when it's like this.

I did make an observation today though. Usually, when it's very cold out I just start the car up and be on my way. My car sounding like the diesel engine it doesn't have, I took and left my job and jumped on the highway. I was very easy on the throttle but something surprised me, and scared me for a bit. I was keeping an eye on my EGT gauge (VD0). Usually it would run just slightly over 1250F, say around 1275. Then it would taper off as the car warmed up. Not today! The temp went all the way up to 1450F-1500F. I was like (Oh shi*) and kept backing off the throttle, driving at around 50F. Had I continued to accelerate up to 65mph (The highway speed limit), I really do believe my EGT would've passed the 1550F mark.

There has been some debate about whether warming up your car helps out or not. I think it doesn't help really up to a point. If it's really cold out and your car has been sitting all night, I wouldn't advise just jumping in and pulling off. I am not stating any theories or hypothesis. I just saying what happened to me this morning and what I did to remedy this situation. You are more than welcome to state whether letting the car warm up first or just driving off (even mildly accelerating through local neighborhoods) is good or not. I know better. Good luck and drive safely!

BTW: I couldn't tell you if the car had knock/ping and/or detonation. There was so much racket going on from the diesel sound, I simply couldn't separate any foreign sounds. I just ordered a knock sensor today before making this post.



[This message has been edited by Kevin Thomas (edited December 18, 2000).]
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Old 12-18-2000, 01:44 PM   #5
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With my car at the mercy of Peoria weather these days, I've been giving it time to warm up, and that usually takes care of the noise.

My CE light came on this weekend, though, and an ECU reset didn't make it go away, so I'm probably going to take it in when I get back from the holidays. I just know it's somehow related to the fact my car's not being kept in the nice, warm garage I pay for in Chicago. My job sucks that way.

Cranks are slow and agonizing, but the car still starts after three or four.
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Old 12-18-2000, 02:23 PM   #6
spt_impreza
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all i can say is omg!!!! where i live we just got out of a cold snap......-30C plus windchill which, in some places made it almost -50C. i plug my car in and it starts no problem in the morning!!! i am using 5w30 weight oil too.

spt
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Old 12-18-2000, 02:36 PM   #7
tomrichardson
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The genuine Subaru engine block heater is the only way to go for cold temperature starts. This morning my gauge told me it was 5 degrees F when I started my car. It started perfectly fine and warmed up to normal temp within minutes.

Pretty cool. Wish the install was just as cool. Hehe.

Cheers,
Tom Richardson, Jr.
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Old 12-18-2000, 02:52 PM   #8
spt_impreza
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hey tom.....are you telling me that you plug your car in at 5 F????? plz dont tell me that. i only plug my car in when it drops down past -15C....

spt
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Old 12-18-2000, 02:58 PM   #9
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I plug it in when I get home and am not planning on going out again till the morning.

5 degrees F is pretty cold for an engine... it'll start... but not as easily as it does with the heater on it with 5w 30 oil.


[This message has been edited by tomrichardson (edited December 18, 2000).]
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Old 12-18-2000, 08:17 PM   #10
spt_impreza
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see my post.......i only plug it in after it gets below -15 degrees C!!!!
come on it wont hurt the engine that much man!!!!!

spt
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Old 12-18-2000, 08:27 PM   #11
ColinL
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Nick, the next morning you have a chance try this...

Pop the hood and then start the engine. Go listen to where the noise is coming from. If it's coming from the front of the engine, it might be a timing belt tensioner. (there are 2 rollers and one hydraulic tensioner.)

Mine doesn't make any bad noises at all and it's been 5-10 F several of the mornings the last week or so. (Today was 12F and 30MPH wind gusting to 60MPH! Windchill sucks.) Anyway, I use Castrol Syntec 10w30.
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Old 12-18-2000, 08:31 PM   #12
dandbest
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I don't know if this is related, but my car used to sound like it was about to throw a rod right out of the oil pan, so I took it in, and it turned out to be a timing belt tensioner. BTW my car is 01RS, and it only had 500miles on it. Now, it sounds fine (My father has a 99RS with 23000miles on it,so I can compare).

Hope this helps
Danny
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Old 12-18-2000, 09:22 PM   #13
Rez
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Had no problems at all up here in Boston. Starts right up, pretty quiet. Nothing like a diesel tho.

-Rez
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Old 12-18-2000, 10:57 PM   #14
P.K. Motorsports
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8 - please try 5w-30 Castrol Syntec. I recently had a lot of nasty noise coming from my engine with Valvoline Syn-power 5w-40 and switched to the Castrol. The problem had been evident at temperatures as warm as 50F, but it resolved completely with the introduction of the Castrol, even in the thirties (as cold as it gets here in the Bay Area). I have a theory that something about the Syntec quiets the engine, but I need to hear it from more people to be sure.
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Old 12-19-2000, 06:52 AM   #15
Aaron'z 2.5RS
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Guyz,

I've seen a post up at my dealership, it was something i think this place put out themselves.
I went on to talk about the "noise" of a cold start motor, i don't have it in front of me but it basicaly sed it wasn't a problem.

I'll see if i can get my hands on one and scan it for everyone.

My car, sounds like a 40yr/old sewing machine in the morning.

Peas,
AaRoN
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Old 12-19-2000, 08:12 AM   #16
8Complex

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spt_impreza & tomrichardson - -15C and 5F are actually pretty close. Remember, 32F and 0C are the same temperatures.

Colin - Will do tomaro morning. I'm thinking I might even throw the stock intake back on sometime as well, so that might quiet it down a bit too. Yup, still using my summer intake. *shrug*

PK Motorsports - I'll give it a shot as soon as I'm done with this case of Mobil1... just one more change before it's all gone.
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Old 12-19-2000, 08:35 AM   #17
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P.K. - I'm using Castrol Syntec Blend 5W30 in my OBS and my wife's OB. Haven't had any problems with funny noises in either car during cold starts and we've been down in the teens F. I believe Castrol is a little thicker than some oils.
Here's the viscosity numbers. Mobil1 vs. Castrol. M1 came from their web page and Castrol came from info they mailed me.
Viscosity, cST @40C
M1 0/5/10w30
52/53/59
Syntec 0/5/10
56/53/70
Does this mean the Syntec is slightly thicker at 40 deg C?
FWIW, the Syntec Blend's numbers are:
5W/10W
62/80
But then you're not getting the benefits of a full synthetic.

Dennis
edit: added info

[This message has been edited by bluesubie (edited December 19, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by bluesubie (edited December 19, 2000).]
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Old 12-20-2000, 12:19 AM   #18
Chin
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Ok, they "cold weather" guy will chime in again. I do not think cold weather starts are all that detremental to cars in general. I have owned a couple of VWs in the past and they both had more than 130k miles on them and neither would have a problem starting in the cold (-20F and below) and ran like champs up until I crashed each of them. While the mileage wasn't that high they were started in the cold every winter. As a matter of fact, a few years ago at school the temp was -41F (no that is not a mistype) and my car started, although it took a few tries! As for an opinion on warming a car up, in one Industrial Tech class I took in college they went over this topic. What it all boiled down to was that it is useless to let a car idle for more than 90 sec. when cold because the oil has thinned out and it will continue to burn relatively large amounts of gas while idling as opposed to driving. Note, however, that you should still take it easy for the first few miles until the entire engine is warmed as well as the tranny.

Christian
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Old 12-19-2000, 03:45 PM   #19
8Complex

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I just noticed tonite that it did it until almost fully warmed up. I think I'll bring i to the dealership sometime soon to get them to cold start it and listen to see if it is that tensioner. Hell, if I can get there fast enough I won't even need to leave it for them to cold start...
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Old 12-19-2000, 05:50 PM   #20
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My car sat at the Airport in -25C (-13F) or colder weather for five days last week. It was not plugged in. It started after 2 seconds of cranking. My car has 10W30 dino oil.

Yes its louder than usual. What the heck did you expect?
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Old 12-19-2000, 05:53 PM   #21
snowbrdrfromnh
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Try investing in a heated garage!


-Mike
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Old 12-19-2000, 11:06 PM   #22
P.K. Motorsports
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Markus - I expect it not to sound BAD, which is a sound you must not have experienced yet, because it makes everybody who's heard their engine do it very worried.

Also, once I found the right oil my engine is not noticibly noisier down into the teens. We all love our cars, why should we make do with excessive noise (and excessive wear / damage) at a cold-weather startup when we don't have to?

Bluesubie - Mobil 1 will be less viscous than the Castrol in any given grade because Mobil 1 uses no viscocity modifiers. But I think something about the viscocity modifiers combats the slap/knock/lifter noise in a way which isn't captured by looking at the figures. By the way, I think the middle number for the Castrol should be 63 cST.

8 - why not shelve the Mobil and use it when it gets warm? How many more nasty starts do you want to put your engine through? I dumped oil which had 1000 miles on it as soon as I began to suspect that it was at least contributing to the problem, and I'm glad I did!
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Old 12-20-2000, 12:22 AM   #23
10th Warrior
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we've had pretty much the same weather in StL and i have had no problems. it takes a little bit to crank over, but that's it. i'm running mobil 1 10w30 without problems. sometimes i let it warm up and other times i warm it up with gratuitous use of the throttle. i havn't really noticed a diff b/w the 2. my mileage sux though that's to be expected.
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Old 12-20-2000, 06:08 AM   #24
bluesubie
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P.K. - I checked the numbers again and it is 53 cSt on the 5W30. Doesn't look right to me either. Maybe their data sheet is off. Btw, I'm enjoying these motor and gear oil discussions. I've really been trying to learn all that I can.
Dennis
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