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Author Topic: Does warming up your car help? Back to Topics
Rocketmann

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Colorado

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Message Posted: Apr 13, 2011 9:48:59 AM

My grandfather always told me to warm up the car before taking off. As I do more research I am finding that this does not really help at all. In fact letting a car sit there for a few wears the engine down faster! I am finding that so long as you are easy on the gas until your engine is at optimal running temp you don't really need to let it warm up.

Thoughts on this? How do you know, whats your prior knowledge of the mechanics of a car?
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Titanic1985
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 8:14:27 AM

Good Morning Rocketmann. Gvan's answer, "No, start and go but drive conservatively at least until the vehicle warms up." That is the correct approach for today's vehicles. I do, however, have a remote start feature and do start the vehicle in the carport as I approach it. It is only a few seconds, but it gets the oil flowing.

My advice is to follow what is written in your Owner's Manual, paying particular attention to the viscosity of oil used and your local weather conditions. Gvan is from Chicago as I was for over five years. They get some very cold winter mornings.

Take care :-). MGY
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gougedQC
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2012 6:33:22 AM

from a mechanical point of view, absolutely unnecessary in modern cars, with modern computers, injection and modern lubricants.

regardless of how cold, its pretty much start and go....go reasonably mind you, because ALL parts of the vehicle are cold.,,not just the engine.

but even at far below freezing, you can start and move off.

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wldhrs1
All-Star Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Nov 30, 2012 6:55:36 PM

Read the comment below by dontuknowOH

Either he is a mechanic with a clear understanding of engine mechanics or he researched. He hit the bullseye on this one. I couldn't have said it better.
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diesdown
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Nov 30, 2012 6:40:49 PM

Help the car or the passengers?
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cayo32
Rookie Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Nov 30, 2012 2:31:55 PM

yes, for old cars
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Nov 30, 2012 9:36:44 AM

Honestly I think Mechanical for-play helps,but as all things age,seems an awful amount of static is often generated,must be rust taking hold,they sell rust preventor it's often a cooling off system additive.....
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russells350
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Nov 30, 2012 8:09:30 AM

no
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wshokie12
Champion Author Winston-Salem

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Message Posted: Nov 27, 2012 12:37:35 AM

yes, but i don't
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ricebike
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 9:33:37 PM

for my older vehicles, yes
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carinthuist
Champion Author San Francisco

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Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 9:12:46 PM

yes it helps heat up engine
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installer
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 9:50:05 AM

I've heard it does better for all things to warm up a minimum and drive slowly for the first few minutes until the needle comes off the peg and then speedup slowly. It really irritates others on the road. Probably best reason.
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Z12
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Nov 24, 2012 9:03:39 PM

A little
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gvan
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Nov 24, 2012 9:22:52 AM

No, start and go but drive conservatively at least until the vehicle warms up.
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PaylessKY
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Nov 24, 2012 9:10:20 AM

I only warm the car if the windows need to be cleared.
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diesel8888
Champion Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Nov 23, 2012 1:27:55 AM

My diesel sure needs a warm up when it's cold. I think it helps my car to run smother:-) but I heard idling is not good for your engine too.
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Z12
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Nov 22, 2012 8:25:11 PM

Maybe a little
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Nov 22, 2012 4:06:02 AM

When outside temps are near freezing or in the 20's F ,most cars since the mid 90's can be driven away after 60-30 seconds moderatly for warm-up. Usually the defrost mode is selected along with hot heater modes,with the A/C unite energised and giving up a small amount of heat toward the vehicles radiator even,also tending to remove some moisture from within that vehicle.

The remaining drivetrain is still a bit stiff untill the engine temps reach 150 degrees,taking 3 minutes or more depending on speed/weather temps. Colder meaning longer,this is the reason for moderate operation during warm-up while driving.

On the later models,if you are not getting enough cabin heat(hot air circulation from vents)your cabin filter may be clogged with debris/dirt,which will restrict heater hot air flow at the vents....?
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carinthuist
Champion Author San Francisco

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Message Posted: Nov 19, 2012 10:23:40 PM

slightly maybe depends
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gvan
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Nov 19, 2012 5:37:20 PM

Drive conservatively to warm up your car.
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GLM4205
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Nov 19, 2012 3:00:28 PM

Right on sunite..
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lil_ebb
Sophomore Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Nov 14, 2012 6:11:28 PM

i always thought that was a waste of gas..does it work?
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carinthuist
Champion Author San Francisco

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Message Posted: Nov 14, 2012 6:01:15 PM

possible
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IAMCANADIAN73
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Nov 14, 2012 7:16:24 AM

Maybe
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Jayburt
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Nov 14, 2012 1:49:57 AM

Always for at least 20 seconds..even on a warm day. In real cold weather for a minute to let the lubrication get to all the internals, but leaving a car (or truck) idle for long periods of time is just silly, oil pressure is low and your just wearing parts without need.
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PaylessKY
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Nov 14, 2012 12:21:44 AM

Back in grandfathers day it did help. With todays cars just start and drive, unless you need to clear the windows.
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sunite
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Nov 12, 2012 10:46:10 PM

If below freezing, let it run for 1-2 minutes. By then engine is up to around 80-100 degrees. Go easy since transmission and drive train hasn't warmed up, after 2-3 miles everything should be up to normal temps..
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nycztony85
Veteran Author New York

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 7:07:01 PM

Yes
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 2:17:28 PM

Its never wise or good to race a cold engine right after start-up,yes oil pressure is being pumped to most all load bearings,but the fast moving pistons,rings,cylinder walls are dealing with extreem heat in the combustion chambers at that same time, also sealing must take place where very littlr oil lubrication is slim until proper engine temps arrive and more oil is then slung into those areas increasing surface coverage for those high speeds/pressures of a healthy engine,then preventing extra wear,reducing heat friction on those parts also.

This is the primary reason for taking it easy on the go pedel untill the engine warming is complete,the colder the day/night effects the engine reaching the good operations temps the longer the time interval. Most engines are not harmed by a cold drive-away at low RPMs below 2,000 or less STD. trannys no lugging,but automatics are more cushioned to loading on warm-ups,and will do fine. If your are really hurried most of the time,well they make and sell lots of parts everywhere to remedy the rescue!
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forresj
Champion Author Wilmington

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 1:10:12 PM

Your grandfather was probably driving a horse and buggy. Warming up the car is not needed anymore for fuel-injectors. Newer cars are computer controlled and air-fuel ratio sensor adjusts the mixture in your engine based on the data retrieved from oxygen and various sensors. It's a waste of gas and your money to let your car warm up.

However, it's a good idea to let the engine oil distribute throughout the engine before departing which shouldn't take more than a minute.
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Commute2
Champion Author District of Columbia

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Message Posted: Nov 9, 2012 12:57:54 PM

Only if the windows are frosted
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twt
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Aug 31, 2012 4:08:06 AM

Car/truck, no. Air cooled motorcycle,yes.
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olympusman2004
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Aug 31, 2012 12:27:56 AM

sometimes just some seconds
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Commute2
Champion Author District of Columbia

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Message Posted: Aug 30, 2012 9:15:43 PM

Sometimes
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PaylessKY
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Aug 30, 2012 8:05:04 AM

Only if its needed to clear the windows.
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IAMCANADIAN73
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Aug 30, 2012 6:52:42 AM

No
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jonjon57
Champion Author Raleigh

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Message Posted: Aug 30, 2012 12:36:48 AM

No
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cmmattia
Champion Author Long Island

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Message Posted: Aug 29, 2012 7:19:43 PM

i dont warm up my car, dont believe it helps :)P
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ultimate
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Aug 29, 2012 8:05:20 AM

no
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BringIt918
Champion Author Oklahoma

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Message Posted: Aug 29, 2012 7:39:51 AM

No
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IAMCANADIAN73
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Aug 29, 2012 7:01:50 AM

No
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MopedTime
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Aug 28, 2012 9:56:46 PM

I would think warming up the engine would help, but do not do so for too long. Of course, in cold weather, engines do need more time to reach operating tem[erature range. I'd say 3 minutes in the warm weather, and up to 10 minutes in freezing temp. You need to time to clear the windshield frost anyway.
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RRBC
Champion Author Victoria

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Message Posted: Aug 28, 2012 9:34:12 PM

Have not noticed.
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majormarket
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Aug 28, 2012 7:58:27 PM

With the August heat here in Texas, we don't worry about warming up our cars.

We actually worry about the opposite - keeping the car cool.
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Z12
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Message Posted: Aug 24, 2012 6:59:13 AM

Yes a little
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ricebike
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Message Posted: Aug 24, 2012 12:21:10 AM

my older car (1989) yes
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DoctorOH
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Message Posted: Aug 24, 2012 12:03:43 AM

Yes i think so
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HotRod10
Champion Author Wyoming

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:19:25 PM

Well, in your grandfather's day, before fuel injection, it was a necessity in cold weather to warm it up, and more fuel-efficient as well. Driving with the choke on uses a huge amount of gas over idling with the choke. In fuel injected vehicles, you'll probably use less gas by just starting and driving.

Revving up the rpms right after starting, before the oil is flowing freely, will probably result in more wear than allowing the oil to circulate for a minute or so. For comfort and safety I warm mine for about 20 minutes when it's really cold, which in my car ('92 Metro 3 cyl., 1.0L) costs less than a quarter, and well worth it.
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PaylessKY
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 12:47:04 PM

Only in the winter to clear the windows.
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wamster
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Message Posted: Aug 21, 2012 8:31:11 AM

In freezing weather, I believe it's a good idea to make sure your oil has circulated through. I used to have a diesel truck, and definitely had to warm it up for five minutes.

Summer or winter; I start my gasoline vehicle and let it run for about a minute. I noticed the engine warms much more quickly on my new cars than my old cars.
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mystifiedinga
Rookie Author Savannah

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Message Posted: Aug 21, 2012 8:04:07 AM

I now live in the south and I don't worry about warming my vehicle up. But in Alaska it does make a difference. The engine runs better and it gets the fluids all moving good... at least in the extreme winter time.
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