Author Topic: to warm up, or not to warm up?  (Read 14325 times)

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Online franksolich

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to warm up, or not to warm up?
« on: January 06, 2017, 05:42:16 AM »
http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/do-you-need-to-warm-up-your-car-in-cold-weather-experts-explain-engine-oil-life/55447779

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Experts weigh in: Do you need to warm up your car in cold weather?

It's advice you've heard from your parents, coworkers and friends: You need to warm up your car before driving when it's cold outside.

But is that really true?

Most vehicles built before 1995 used a carburetor, a device that combined air and fuel. However, the U.S. automobile industry changed over to a fuel injection method in the 80s and 90s, eliminating the need for the carburetor.

With a carburetor, it was essential to let the car idle for minutes before driving it in order to make sure the engine would run properly. But with modern cars, it's not the engine itself that needs to be warmed up when it's cold outside.

Experts are torn on this issue. Some say the car can be driven immediately, just at a neighborhood speed. Others argue that cars need to idle for a couple of minutes to get the oil properly flowing.....

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....."The oil is the lifeblood of the engine," Joseph Henmueller, president and COO of Automotive Maintenance and Repair Association, said.

Henmueller suggested that cars should idle one to two minutes before driving in cold weather. When temperatures drop to freezing, or when it's cold enough that windshields will frost over, the oil needs to warm up before it can move smoothly throughout the car.

"Fluids get thicker when it is cold, so to lubricate properly they need 60 to 120 seconds of the engine running," he said.

Without properly letting the engine run, Henmueller said, you may be cutting your engine's life short.

Experts at Penzoil have a different theory.....

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.....Technical Advisor Shanna Simmons said it is a myth that engines need to idle on a cold winter day.

"While it does take longer for motor oil to pump in extreme cold temperatures, we are talking milliseconds, not minutes," she said. "Your engine will warm up the oil much faster when driving at full speed — not to mention idling wastes gas."

The Environmental Protection Agency lines up with those who say warming up your car is not only not helpful but is wasteful.

Both the EPA and Energy.gov say a car should not idle for more than 30 seconds at a time. Not only is it more environmentally friendly, but also cost-effective. Idling for 30 seconds actually uses more fuel than restarting the car.

In major cities, officials restrict how long the average driver can idle his/her car. Minneapolis, for example, limits the length of idling to three minutes, barring some exceptions (when it is below zero degrees Fahrenheit or higher than 90, idling is permitted up to 15 minutes an hour).

Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Boston have similar regulations. Those caught idling for too long can face a fine.

All experts agree that drivers should take it easy in the first few minutes of driving. Henmueller suggested driving no more than 45 miles per hour for the first five to 10 minutes.

Question.

How can cops in Minneapolis discern how long one's been idling a motor vehicle?

Anyway, I'm of the "in between" school of thought.  I simply let the car "tell me" when it's ready to go, by feeling the vibrations on the steering-wheel; when they're steady and rhythmatic, the car's ready to move.  It depends upon the temperature, but can range anywhere from ten seconds up to two or three minutes, never longer than that.  And once going, I still drive it gently for a bit.

Offline thundley4

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Re: to warm up, or not to warm up?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2017, 08:43:53 AM »
Unless the cops keep an eye on cars they see idling, I don't see how they would know.

As for me, it's not a matter of whether the car is ready to drive after warming up a few minutes, it's whether the heater is putting out heat.

It was 5° this morning and I let the car warm up for 15 minutes which is 14 minutes longer than it takes me to drive to work.  :rofl:

Offline nomad54

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Re: to warm up, or not to warm up?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2017, 07:22:52 PM »
In my younger years, spent many a sub zero morning under the skidders with a blowtorch warming the oil pans.

Now days in my personal vehicles, the cold weather seems to affect transmission fluid more than oil, the one ton shifts a lot harder for the first couple minutes on the road.

Offline Dblhaul

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Re: to warm up, or not to warm up?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2017, 11:16:34 PM »
I run synthetic fluids in all my vehicles. I warm them up for two or so min in cold weather and then drive slow till warmed up.

Offline Adam Wood

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Re: to warm up, or not to warm up?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2017, 11:23:56 PM »
I'll bother "warming up" for precisely two reasons:

1.) it's seriously cold, as in single digits or below, which is pretty rare in Nashville, but it happens, or;
2.) my windshield is so frosted over that it takes a couple of minutes to get the heater going enough to start thawing it out.

Other than that, particularly since Nashville is usually a fairly mild clime, I'll usually just crank up and go.

Offline thundley4

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Re: to warm up, or not to warm up?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2017, 12:48:02 AM »
2.) my windshield is so frosted over that it takes a couple of minutes to get the heater going enough to start thawing it out.

I have seen idiots driving during the morning rush hour with just a small space on the windshield cleared, while the side and rear windows were completely opaque with frost.

Offline Eupher

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Re: to warm up, or not to warm up?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2017, 06:23:15 AM »
I have seen idiots driving during the morning rush hour with just a small space on the windshield cleared, while the side and rear windows were completely opaque with frost.

Plenty of incredibly lazy people out there. That's a pet peeve of mine, along with perfectly ambulatory people who leave their f'n shopping cart right where they empty it, rather than take it to the cart corral.

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