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Old 04-24-2002, 12:10 PM   #1
moojamboo
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Default Start up / Warm up time

Hey

I have always thought it better to let a car warm up before driving. I live in Northern Vermont, so even more important. My thinking is that if the engine is cold, and the oil is in the bottom of the pan, better to let the car idle in the garage for a bit until everthing warms up, dont want to put strain on a cold engine without oil flowing through it. In my case, usually I start my 2002 wrx and it idle's at 1400-1600 rpm. in the morning - and I let her warm till she gets down to 1000 rpm - gives her 3 - 5 minutes to warm.

Now I hear that letting a car warm up at idle doesnt do anything for the car because the oil doesnt move around the engine at that low RPM? A random post quoting a VW 1.8T's maunal says better to drive around at 3000 rpm immediatly to get the oil into the engine block sooner? This would go against what has been beaten into my mind from my father, and grandfather about cars.

Anyone have an oppionion, or gasp, any factual information?

Peace
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Old 04-24-2002, 12:24 PM   #2
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my understanding is it's better to just drive it gently until it warms up. there is more than just the engine involved. the tranny, etc. that will not warm up without motion.
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Old 04-24-2002, 12:32 PM   #3
beastcivic
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You want it to warm up as quickly as possible (relatively speaking). So driving it with a light gas petal is better than just letting it idle (I heard this from Pat Goss of Motor Week...letting it run cold longer adds to the engine oil collecting contaminants that it normally burns off at higher temps).

Me personally I let the car run 20-30 seconds before driving it anywhere regardless of the ambient temp or engine temp. I want to make sure oil has circulated through out the engine before putting a load on it. Then I'll drive with keeping the revs kind of low (3k or less) and not flooring the petal either (very light application of the gas petal) to help warm everything in the engine up (for the first mile or two, longer on colder days and if I haven't driven it in a few hours or more).
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Old 04-24-2002, 01:15 PM   #4
Loki
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I always let my car idle for about 30 seconds if it's above 70 out, or at least a minute if it's below 70. Then I take it easy, keeping it below 4000rpm until it hits normal operating temp. Then anything goes

My car will complain alot of I don't let it have that initial idle time. TICKTICKTICKTICKTICK until it's gets warmer ... all subies make the sound, it's kinda a signature of em I guess ...
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Old 04-24-2002, 02:52 PM   #5
ScoobyBoy
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i normally warm up my car too. just until the temp needle starts to move, then ill start driving, so and easy of course. then when the engine is at normal temp, ill start driving normally too.
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Old 04-24-2002, 02:59 PM   #6
Stanley
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Quote:
You want it to warm up as quickly as possible (relatively speaking). So driving it with a light gas petal is better than just letting it idle (I heard this from Pat Goss of Motor Week...letting it run cold longer adds to the engine oil collecting contaminants that it normally burns off at higher temps).
I generally concur with this. However, if it is really cold outside (like Northern VT in the winter cold ) I let the engine warm up for a minute or three before driving off gently. Usually when I am caught in weather that cold, I am in Tahoe and the car has been parked outside. In that case it helps to have the engine creating some heat before driving off in order to defrost/de-ice windows and to be more comfortable in the car!
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Old 04-24-2002, 03:31 PM   #7
beastcivic
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stanley


I generally concur with this. However, if it is really cold outside (like Northern VT in the winter cold ) I let the engine warm up for a minute or three before driving off gently. Usually when I am caught in weather that cold, I am in Tahoe and the car has been parked outside. In that case it helps to have the engine creating some heat before driving off in order to defrost/de-ice windows and to be more comfortable in the car!
Yep, there's always an exception to the rule, thanks for reminding me. If it's really really freakin' cold out, you might want to let it warm up a tiny bit more than if it were 30 degrees or 70 or 90 degrees out. And you're right, for safety's sake... don't drive with iced/fogged up windows. Defrost them first (get all the snow off your car the might fly around too.... you need visibility in really bad weather conditions).
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Old 04-24-2002, 09:23 PM   #8
Corn-Picker
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A little off-topic but this is why I think an oil temperature gauge is important, while most people look at an oil temperature gauge as optional. The oil temperature "lags" behind the water temperature by 5-10 minutes. Even though my stock (innacurate BTW) coolant temperature gauge will show normal, the oil will still be too cold for me to feel good about running WOT. I don't run WOT until my oil temperature is above 120F(~50C).
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Old 04-24-2002, 10:35 PM   #9
NH02
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Default prices

So what's an oil gauge tend to cost?
Does one brand work better then another?
Are they hard to install?

Owner of a 2002 WRX,

NH02
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Old 04-25-2002, 07:44 AM   #10
jamz
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I always let it warm up for 30 seconds or so, which is enough time to circulate the oil in the engine. Then I drive, becasue it will warm up faster, and it will also warm up the transission, differentials, etc, rather than having a nice warm engine and ice-cold everything else.
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Old 04-25-2002, 03:17 PM   #11
thejean
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I have been letting my car warm up as well until the temp gauge creeps above the "C". Then I drive. However, from what I've read and from application of common sense, it would seem that driving at a low rpm, until the engine warms will ensure that the oil moves around, that you have a warm engine and that you have a warm tranny all at the same time. I'm an engineer and this seems to make perfectly logical sense. Wise comment if you ask me. I've never thought of it that way before. Anyone know what Subaru's position is on this topic?

JC
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Old 04-26-2002, 11:20 AM   #12
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You don't have to let it warm up. Oil is liquid in the cold too. You only have to let it run for about 30 seconds to get the oil pressure up. Then youre fine. On old car you do want them to warm up a bit.

Andrew
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Old 04-26-2002, 11:42 AM   #13
Richard L.
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Like most have said above, it is best to let the car warm up for around 30 seconds, then gently drive off and take it easy until a couple of minutes after the coolant temp has reached operating temperature. Your car will warm up a lot faster if you drive it.

Excessive idling = excessive carbon build up.
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:42 PM   #14
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ok i know i'm bumping an ancient thread but i have a quick question about letting the car warm up and i searched and sure enough there are more than a couple threads about warming up your car... so i avoided staring another

What if i'm just moving the car into my garage or something like that...

Should i drive the car around and let it warm up to temp before shutting her down?
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:55 PM   #15
killichnakropf
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Whats the owners Manuel say?
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:59 PM   #16
trick3d
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killichnakropf
Whats the owners Manuel say?
I don't know who is this owner of yours called Manuel? Did you mean Emmanuel?
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:17 PM   #17
guygettnby
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I let my car warm up for about 3-5min each morning before I drive to work. Just enough time for me to smoke a cigg before the ride to work and allow me to have some heat. Need the windows defrosted and what not before I can drive to work in the morning. basically whenever the car is cold I allow it some time to idle before I drive off.
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:50 PM   #18
guidojuicehead
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Block Heater FTW!

Below 40 degrees, I give mine at least 2 hours plugged in if possible. I like to think I hear less piston slap...

The difference in temp increases without the plug it takes about 5 mins of running. As others have said shifting under 4k rpm. With 2 hours on the plug, it see temp increases by the end of my driveway(300 yards). Or after 2 mins of idle. Oil temp is up to 140 degrees after 3 miles. Best $40 mod, IMO...
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:58 PM   #19
jatt
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Default Always warm up

I always warm up my cars, weather Subie or Galant for atleast 5 mins in winter and 1 min in summer. I hope I'm helping the car not the environment obviously.
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:29 PM   #20
boogieman065
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Can you plug a block heater in overnight? Say if I don't wanna get up at 3:30 am just to plug it into an outlet? I'm be going to Watertown NY soon so I'm new to the bitter cold driving world...
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:49 PM   #21
guidojuicehead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogieman065 View Post
Can you plug a block heater in overnight? Say if I don't wanna get up at 3:30 am just to plug it into an outlet? I'm be going to Watertown NY soon so I'm new to the bitter cold driving world...
I set a timer in advance...



I guess you could leave it on all night, but there really is no reason.
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:56 PM   #22
yeos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby207 View Post
ok i know i'm bumping an ancient thread but i have a quick question about letting the car warm up and i searched and sure enough there are more than a couple threads about warming up your car... so i avoided staring another

What if i'm just moving the car into my garage or something like that...

Should i drive the car around and let it warm up to temp before shutting her down?
Oh geez. Turn it on, move it into the garage and turn it off. What do you plan on full throttling it into the garage?
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:16 PM   #23
That guy in Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rags View Post
You don't have to let it warm up. Oil is liquid in the cold too. You only have to let it run for about 30 seconds to get the oil pressure up. Then you’re fine. On old car you do want them to warm up a bit.

Andrew
Uhm...no.

Oil is a quite a bit thicker when it is cold (especially in negative temps which you can easily get in VT).

I park my car outside, I'm getting a block heater sometime soon.

Last edited by That guy in Maine; 12-26-2011 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:20 PM   #24
Midevil
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I start it and drive almost every time. No need to waste my life away waiting 30 seconds at a time for the car to heat up.
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:02 PM   #25
blame
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Does nobody here have an oil pressure gauge? Lots of people here don't seem to understand how oil viscosity, oil pumps, and fluid pressure work

Very basically: yes you engine will have oil circulation immediately when you start it. You don't wait for 'the oil to start flowing' or 'to build enough oil pressure'

Quite the opposite actually, you entire oiling system is very highly pressurized on a cold start, can be around 120+ psi. Compare that to a hot idle around 25-30 psi and a wide-open-throttle reading of around 80psi (when at normal operating temp). For the thickness (viscosity) of the oil to change and therefore lower the pressure, it needs to absorb heat. If you drive it right away on a cold start, you're just adding more unnecessary pressure to the system, possibly hitting upwards of 140-150psi. This is what causes a lot of random engine leaks.

A block heater can really significantly reduce the time needed for oil pressure to drop, especially in conditions that get well blow freezing (I don't usually plug my block heater in until a good 10-12 degrees below freezing).

My personal 'standard' is 95psi, when the oil pressure has dropped to that, my stock temp gauge has usually moved to at least the lower line of the gauge, and idle has dropped to 1200 or just under. I then drive quite moderately until operating temp, then normally after.

I'm not gonna say that you're an idiot for doing things differently than I do, or that you have to follow my instructions to the letter to avoid blowing up your car. Hey it's your car, do what you want. I just noticed a lot of misinformation and misconceptions about cold starting coming from people that don't seem to have to deal with it that often. I live in northern BC, Canada and I have to deal with it quite a lot. I've lived in places where -40 (same temp in celsius and fahrenheit btw) and below were very common winter temperatures, and still gotten 500,000+km from the car.

Have fun, don't freeze, and remember cold oil is thick-thick oil makes for very high pressure.

-sean
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