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Old 10-29-2008, 01:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Daox View Post
The garage is nice, but unnecessary. I plugged my car in all last year with it sitting out in the elements.

The real sweet combo is the block heater on a timer, and an electric space heater heating the car up as you scrape, or turn it on early so you don't have to.
No garage here. Just use a good outdoor extension cord. I bought a 100 ft extension cord 10 years ago and still use it year round.

Ive actually been thinking of the space heater thing for a couple months. Ive got a few $16 ceramic heaters I use now and then, and I know how fast one of them heats up my camper. I want to add a couple of switched outlets to my porch, then I can plug in the heater at night and turn it on when I get up, and then the car should be thawed when Im ready to go. If its not then I could just plug it into a timer. Same goes for a block heater, Ive just gotta figure out what kind would work for my car. Im thinking the lower radiator hose model.

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Old 10-29-2008, 02:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm worried about engine wear and tear by just starting up and letting it go, rather than letting it idle for five minutes before driving off ( at which point it still isn't up to temperature, but a lot closer than it was when i started it ). Does anyone know how much damage is caused by frequent completely cold start-and-go driving?
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Old 10-29-2008, 02:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I only warm mine up enough to get the oil pressure up (I have a gauge) and till any oil starved parts like lifters quiet down. Usually 1/2 minute when its cold. Usually the power steering pump is what makes the most noise. But I do take it easy on the road, of course we all probably do while ecodriving plus its safer in the snow. It gets to -20F quite a bit here and Ive never had an engine that burned oil or knocked or anything. They always run great to well over 200k. By then the rest of the car has pretty well rusted out beyond reasonable repair.
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Old 10-29-2008, 02:23 PM   #14 (permalink)
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As soon as you get oil pressure you are ready to drive. It doens't take long for oil to get pumped throughout the engine. We're talking maybe a few seconds after you start the engine. Even less if you run a synthetic or lower viscosity oil, and/or a block heater.
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Old 10-29-2008, 03:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MazdaMatt View Post
Because I love my car, i let it idle...
Which is like over-feeding your dog because you love it. It's better to just start it and drive moderately.
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Old 10-29-2008, 03:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Which is like over-feeding your dog because you love it. It's better to just start it and drive moderately.
Which is like startling your grandmother awake and making her start jogging... moderately.

Start it up, wait for the revs to settle down. At least them you have oil in all those parts you are about to put a bunch of friction onto
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Old 10-29-2008, 04:44 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I carpool to work so every second week i drive about 3 miles to my pickup point. I block the radiator completely those weeks and use the cabin heater to take excess heat WHEN the temp needle rises to operating temp. The fan came on once when i was learning how to work this new system. Other than that it works fine and the temp needle starts to rise in about a minute. I just have to remember to open up the radiator on the weeks it's my turn to drive!
Re: the frost on the window. I just use an old yoga mat to cover the windscreen overnight. It's heavy and covers the whole window. Throw it off and i'm good to go. Still freezes up a little while driving but with the rad blocked, i get heat to the windscreen in maybe 2 minutes. Usually just in time to clear the frost before my vision gets completely blocked!!

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Old 10-29-2008, 04:48 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Are any engine parts splash lubricated anymore? Cylinder bores? I've heard that idling the engine when cold is bad for it as basically the oil ain't splashing when its thick and cold at idle. And idling doesn't warm up the oil quickly at all so the splash lubed parts get no lube for quite a while.

I'm running full synthetic 5W30 now so I just get in and drive, I don't use over 1/4 throttle for a few minutes but then its all go. I have been known to drag the brakes while on the gas in town to get the car to warm up quicker but that was just for my comfort... I guess its better for the engine to actually get up to temperature but that wasn't the main idea at the time.
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:04 PM   #19 (permalink)
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This is a very delicate balance for us going through sub-freezing winter months. FE drops regardless and it is very tempting to idle a lot.

I think I will definitely try out block heaters this winter. I plan on riding my bike when the bike trail is clear. So maybe I'll try it out on the wife's car, she has to drive about 4 days a week.

Frost on the windows is also a problem, covering them with plastic (or I guess a yoga mat) helps keep the frost off. All things I want to try this winter.
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:26 AM   #20 (permalink)
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My car doesn't get anywhere near temperature if I start up and go straight away, and the engine feels jerky and clunkier than if I let it idle for a while - which is what i'm worried about. I'll try cutting idling time by half, but still giving it some time to warm up to see if there is any improvement.

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