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2010civic 01-21-2012 08:23 PM

Warming your car up in cold weather
How long do you warm your car up in cold weather? Do you start it and go or wait 2 minutes or 10. Just curious?

user removed 01-21-2012 08:43 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Start and go. Drive fairly conservatively until you get some indication of temp gauge movement. Use the fast idle for power and keep revs around 2k. You have oil pressure virtually immediately.

I have done this with all my cars, my 99 Max, bought new, has 144k miles and uses practical no oil whatsoever. Just got the vlave cover gaskets replaced after 3k miles with less than 1/4 quart oil loss.

I do have a garage so I don't have to worry about frost-snow-ice.


low&slow 01-21-2012 08:43 PM

There is no advantage in letting your car idle, get it ready to go ,clean windshield and anything else needed for safety, put on your seatbelt, start the car and drive it gently until it reaches normal operating temperature.

CigaR007 01-21-2012 10:40 PM

Unless you like burning your money and emitting excessive air pollution, 30 seconds is all that is needed after firing up the engine. A block heater will do wonders in cold weather too.

user removed 01-21-2012 11:06 PM

Modern oil filers have anti drain back check valves. Even my 1937 Ford would produce oil pressure in 5 seconds cranking at 100 RPM with the original 6 volt starter which was direct drive, or you could crank it by hand!

Oil pressure is produced virtually instantly, long before the gauge reads oil pressure. in probably twenty revolutions of the engine, maybe less. If your windows are clear drive away immediately after starting the engine. By the time you have it in gear you have max oil pressure especially in a cold engine. In fact the pressure relief valve is already dumping excess oil pressure.


jakobnev 01-22-2012 08:23 AM

In winter time i put warm water bottles on the dash, plug in my portable extra battery and then go outside to remove ice/snow from my car.

When i'm done with that i get everything ready before starting, including being in 1st and letting off the hand brake. I do let the engine come down a bit from the initial surge, so maybe 0.6s between starting and going.

kurzer 01-22-2012 09:28 AM

i start and drive thru the gears up to 5th. at ca. 80km/ (50mph), than cut fuel with the kill switch and coast in 5th down to 50 (30). i hope compresion and friction will make a little contribution, without any fuel. after that i accel up a second time and coast to the main road. if trafic is ok, 1 or 2 times may follow. the first part of this vid showes...

user removed 01-22-2012 10:58 AM

Superb video kurzer. I might learn some German watching that one a few times ;). Pulse a glide may extend your warm up times, but at least you are using the higher fuel consumption for something. I have found that it helps your mileage to pulse and glide even with a cold engine.


SentraSE-R 01-22-2012 01:38 PM

The German is brief. First one says water temperature. Second says tachometer. Third says fuel injectors off. Fourth one says shows 0 when injectors are off (referring to the tach).

I warm up my engine while P&G, too. I'm 4 miles down the road, averaging ~50 mpg, before my low coolant temp light goes off at 137 degrees F.

Superturnier 01-22-2012 02:16 PM

I usually try to avoid any excess idle and get going as soon as possible. When the weather is below 10*C (50F) I will use the block heater.
During winter I will also use the car interior pre-heater to defrost the windows.

If it is not possible to use any preheating and the windows are covered with ice, I will start the engine and put on the defrosting and scratch the windows clean within 2 minutes and get going.
Safety comes always first. You must see where you are going.
In Finland we have a law that prohibits any idling longer than 2 minutes.

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