This winter is turning into one of the coldest I have ever lived through, and was wondering for older cars, say pre 2005 what is best for starting up your car on very cold days (temps below freezing) and how long should you allow the car to run before putting it into drive. And once in drive for the first few miles or so what are some things you should do to help your engine in these types of temps.
There are lots of posts here about that.
The only real benefit of warming the engine a long time if for YOU. Some warmth in the heater is for you and to keep your breath from fogging the inside windshield.
– otherwise –
Start the engine first ( a few seconds is all it need to get the oil flowing within )…then clear the snow, then seat belt , then drive slowly off.
Warming the engine does NOT do any warming of many other functions that suffer from the cold and need to be driven to warm up such as wheel bearings, differential oils, transmission, steering etc.
Warming the engine up until the defroster is working is a good idea for safety, however. It won’t have to be at full temp for that, just warm enough to be pushing out air that’s warmer than ambient.
Start her up and drive gently for the first few miles, so EVERYTHING gets a chance to warm-up before you put the hammer down. Rocketman
Really cold with temps below freezing ? If you mean high 20s to low 30s, that’s nothing for a modern car. Just drive off once car appears to be running smoothly. Keep speeds low and gradually increase them as the temp warms. It’s that simple.
@bertrand Very cold here is -30 to -40. Temperatures just below freezing are a piece of cake for any modern car.
The temp here in GA was 15 degrees when I went to the car. Fortunately, it was also dry, so no clearing of the windshield needed. I started it up, belted up, then put it in gear and left. Drove easy for 3 miles until the heater started putting out heat. And I drive an '88 Supra.