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Old 02-05-2021, 03:24 AM   #1
defury
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Default Warming up an old EJ before driving in sub Zero Temp?

I don't have a block heater but the car never fails to start. I'm getting one put in eventually but in the meantime I was curious.

On an older EJ205 (JDM 03 Forester) with piston slap in cold weather am I better off letting it idle for a few minutes? I know a lot of the discussions say just drive but those don't usually discuss old engines with 17 years of wear and tear.

The vehicle has 115,000km, I run Motul Xcess 5w40.

Should I be letting it idle? We often get down to -20/-30 here.
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Old 02-05-2021, 07:14 AM   #2
K3rm1tth3fr0g
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defury View Post
I don't have a block heater but the car never fails to start. I'm getting one put in eventually but in the meantime I was curious.

On an older EJ205 (JDM 03 Forester) with piston slap in cold weather am I better off letting it idle for a few minutes? I know a lot of the discussions say just drive but those don't usually discuss old engines with 17 years of wear and tear.

The vehicle has 115,000km, I run Motul Xcess 5w40.

Should I be letting it idle? We often get down to -20/-30 here.
I always let my car idle to at least a hundred degrees on the coolant before I drive it.

While it's true that tolerances in engines are a lot tighter than they used to be and warming up cars is a lot less important than in the past, especially in colder temperatures, it's still definitely makes sense to warm up your car, especially if it's not stock.

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Old 02-05-2021, 07:25 AM   #3
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Idling is fine if you want to do it. I'd say give it 2 minutes for the sake of the car and up to 10 minute for the sake of your heater working and you entering a toasty car.
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Old 02-05-2021, 07:33 AM   #4
rtv900
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If I was in -20 weather I'd probably let it idle for a few minutes at least, but in reality I'd put a block heater in considering how cheap and easy they are and how great they work.
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Old 02-05-2021, 07:43 AM   #5
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Letting the car idle allows time for the oil to warm before any kind of load is put on the engine. If you don't think it's necessary (or anyone else) take some of that ultra thin Honda 0w-20 and put in your freezer and see what happens to it. We use thicker oil, then imagine what it would be like after 1500, 2000, or 3000 miles of use. If you don't want to let it idle, get a block heater. As mentioned, they are cheap
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Old 02-05-2021, 09:27 AM   #6
rtv900
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Letting the car idle allows time for the oil to warm before any kind of load is put on the engine. If you don't think it's necessary (or anyone else) take some of that ultra thin Honda 0w-20 and put in your freezer and see what happens to it.
letting a car idle until the oil warms is downright unrealistic, period.
the oil won't budge past it's minimum temp reading on any gauge until the coolant is fully warmed up.
So what, we're supposed to idle for a half hour?????

Yes everyone knows oil is thicker in a freezer, or in your garage for that matter.
Cars can handle that easily, that's why people who don't do the endless idle warm up have no problems.

I ran 10w30 in my last car and drove off with no warm up in single digit weather regularly. Engine ran perfectly to 280,000 miles.

My sti is at 123,000 and I do the same thing, same results.
Most diesel guys run a 15 cold weight and start up and go.

Negative 20 or 30, that's time to just use a block heater. Idling to warm up in those temps is most likely doing more harm than good because nothing is moving.
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Old 02-11-2021, 05:45 PM   #7
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I try to let coolant get up to atleast 100f any time I drive it, no matter how hot or cold it is outside
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Old 02-11-2021, 05:51 PM   #8
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Block heaters exist for a reason. They're not hard to install.
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Old 02-15-2021, 02:32 PM   #9
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Even in the summer I let my cars warm up before driving them...
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Old 02-15-2021, 02:43 PM   #10
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Even in the summer I let my cars warm up before driving them...
Facepalm!
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Old 02-16-2021, 01:53 PM   #11
samb
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Temps in the -20f to -30f range I always let the car warm up for a few minutes before driving. Usually I couldn't get it in gear anyway. Once my breath wasn't freezing to the windshield I was good to go. 239,000 miles and she still runs fine.
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Old 02-16-2021, 02:05 PM   #12
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I like a block heater a lot. Highly recommend.

After a R-E-A-L-L-Y cold night (teens) the coolant temp will be mid 70s at startup. On a 30 night it will be in the 90s at startup. Either way, you can put the heat on immediately and get lukewarm heat out, and HOT air our within a couple minutes of driving.
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Old 02-16-2021, 02:12 PM   #13
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Sorry KillerB, teens are not cold lol. -22f air temp in MN this morning.
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Old 02-16-2021, 02:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markopolo400 View Post
Sorry KillerB, teens are not cold lol. -22f air temp in MN this morning.
You're right. From NH, so I should have known better. Spoiled being in VA now. Either way, you're looking at a +50 temp rise with the block heater. Gets you at a much better temp to start with.

We did have a customer long ago that had us make a custom oil pan that could use a Caterpillar Engine Oil Heater. He lived on the Hudson Bay. He used that WITH an OEM block heater. His startup oil temps were ~100 IIRC.
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Old 02-16-2021, 04:04 PM   #15
SoCoNoHa
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I'll weigh in, since it gets pretty cold on some NH nights...

I always wait to drive until the coolant needle is at least a little above the cold line on the gauge, and I absolutely never drive hard until it's well warned up. Just because the coolant gauge has reached normal operating temp, doesn't mean the oil is all warned up yet.

I've put many many tens of thousands of miles on motors with bad head gaskets/ slapping pistons/ excessive blow by without issue, I believe letting them get to temp on their own extends longevity in these cases.
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