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The eternal question: to warm or not to warm

Well, I finally answered the eternal question of whether to warm the car up before jumping in and driving off. I’m warming mine up!! :scream:

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you may be warming the ENGINE . .for the sake of your fingers and fogging the inside with your breath.
what’s NOT warming ?
transmission fluid,
rear / front axle fluid,
Wheel bearing grease,
power steering fluid.

Only driving warms these others.

( btw ; I warm mine up too , to defrost or make scraping easier on . . ALL . . the windows ! )

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I’m with TSM. I’m perfectly happy to drive slow to warm those other things up. I’m less happy to drive slow while my fingers and nose turn blue. Once the needle drops below 0, that car’s interior is getting warmed up for me before I get in it.

My car warms up a lot faster if I’m driving it gently.
However, below 0F I would let it idle a few minutes.

I hope you’re not sitting in your car waiting for it to warm up, because the engine will warm up faster if you drive it.

You’re going to do what you’re going to do, but for others who might consider doing something smarter:

From Ten Ways You May Be Ruining Your Car without Even Knowing It by Tom and Ray Magloizzi:

7. Warming It Up

Tom: Just because we tell you that the engine needs a few minutes before you drive, that doesn’t mean you should sit in your driveway and let it idle.

Ray: We know that warming up an engine is practically America’s national pastime, but the truth is you shouldn’t warm up your car. And the reasons are different depending on whether your car is carbureted (old technology) or fuel-injected (new technology).

Tom: If you have a carbureted car, warming it up in the morning is actually bad for it. I know, it’s hard to believe, but here’s why.

Ray: When you just sit there with the engine idling at high revs, you’re pouring a very rich mixture into the cylinders - that means a lot of gas and not much air.

Tom: And some of that excess gasoline works its way down past the piston rings and gets into the oil. That dilutes the oil and weakens its ability to libricate.

Ray: In addition, all that access gas can also wreak havoc on your catalytic converter, which costs hundreds of dollars to replace.

Tom: If your car is fuel-injected, the computer won’t allow you to run a rick mixture for too long. It’ll automatically adjust the mixture to prevent the kind of damage we just described. So it’s not bad for the car, it’s just completely unnecessary, and a total waste of fuel.

Ray: And believe it or not, it takes more time to warm up the engine when it’s sitting idel than when it’s being used to move the car.

So What Do We Recommend?

Ray: Just drive. That’s the proper procedure. The car will tell you when it needs to be warmed up. If you put the car in gear and it goes, that means it’s ready to go. If you put it in gear and it stalls, that means it probably needs to be serviced.

Tom: Under no circumstances should you start the car, go back inside for a cup of coffee and a crisp one, and then come out 20 minutes later. That’s a waste of gasoline at best, and harmful to the engine at worst.

Ray: And if you don’t like driving to work in a cold car, either build a heated garage or wear an extra pair of Bronko Nagurski long johns.

That’s nothing, we had 18 below a few days ago. Farther west was 30 below. Nothing wrong with letting the car run a little before you get into it, BUT, in Minneapolis they reported many car thefts from people letting their cars run in their driveways. Seems like these guys are lurking just waiting for a car sitting and running with the keys in it.

The only safe way is if you have remote start so that the car isn’t going anywhere without the key. In my G6, the shifter is locked without the key. I have a garage so don’t need the warm up but when it gets that cold, I’m tempted. No big deal either way and warming it up before hand can make sure your windows don’t frost up. Until you have experienced it, you have no idea how cold 20 below really is, so no comments from you California folks.

I know it uses a little gas, but not all that much.

And I know that it would warm up faster if I were driving it. But I would not warm up faster if I were driving it. Much nicer to let the car take 10 minutes to get the chill off while I sit in the house and have a second cup of coffee than to sit in a freezing car waiting for the thing to warm up while I drive and try to keep the windshield from icing over from my breath.

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0 degrees??? -18 degrees???

I’d move…



When the temps went down below 50 this past fall, I started using the heater (and for the first time!?) noticed that warm air started coming out, and the thermostat needle started moving up, in about 1.5 miles of ~40 mph driving away from my neighborhood. That’s only about 2-3 minutes, and without recirculate because I didn’t push the button.

So extending that to lower temps and for a relative feeling of warmth inside the passenger compartment, I would expect no more than 10 mins of warming is needed before driving.
(Btw, I tend to not warm unless I’m scraping ice or removing snow from the car. Driving with gloves for a short distance isn’t that big a deal.)

Me first, car second. When the temperature is below zero, I am going to let the car warm up. I don’t care if it takes a little extra fuel. I once started the Ford Maverick I owned when temperature was -22 F. I let it idle for 15 minutes before I started off. I wanted to be certain the gas line wasn’t frozen down at the tank.

LOL, there’re always critics.
Ken, I’m not worried about those things. I’m doing it for the sake of my buns. And my feet, and my face, and… and my COMFORT!!!

Not to worry, Whitey. I lock the doors with the engine running and sit in the kitchen (where I can see the car) sipping coffee. My momma didn’t raise no fools! And as regards Tom & Ray, I didn’t ask their opinion. I bought my car for my comfort. And that’s how I’m gonna use it. I don’t claim to be all-knowing, but if those of you who have been hanging out here for years don’t know by now that I know SOMETHING about cars, than I guess there’s no sense trying to convince you now. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

That thought has occurred to me… :grinning:

(posted to FB 12-12-16)
Not that many places to move to, eddo


True, bscar.
I came up with an idea to help those who don’t understand appreciate the issue.
Get a few bags of ice from the local store. Sit on them for 5 minutes. Now imagine, if you can, what it would feel like if the bags of ice were 40 degrees colder than they are. :stuck_out_tongue:

There was a news story recently, they followed a policeman ticketing warming up cars that were unlocked. Lock it or stay in it I guess.

I met a lady at Cruz Bay who went there on a weeks vacation and decided to stay. She had been there many years when I visited. I understood she left her home during a cold miserable winter and felt no need to return. I wish I could afford to live there. It’s as close to paradise as I have ever been.

I’m with mountainbike on this one.
While I normally drive away–slowly and gently–right after starting the engine, if the ambient temperature is less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit, I will allow the engine to warm-up for a few minutes.
Heck, even the electrically-heated seats take a few minutes before they are effective at those temperatures, so even though I try to be as economical as possible, I will allow the engine to warm-up for 2 or 3 minutes in very low temperature conditions.

Yes, warming-up the engine does tend to kill my gas mileage goals, but I am paying the bills, and I don’t care about a few extra cents spent in the interest of personal comfort.

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I like to warm the car up for a couple of reasons. The first is so that the interior of the car is not freezing. Seconding I have noticed that in very cold temperatures, the shifter between my seats gets hard to move. Thirdly the steering wheel seems to move better after car is heated up. I have noticed that if I just turn car on and go, the steering wheel can be hard to turn. Fourthly, I fee like I get better acceleration out of the car after it been idling a few minutes in the morning. Finally, I do not hear my car make as many squeaks and noises if it idles for a few minutes before I drive. now I do notice that weekly, I use more gas but to me, using a little more gas is worth having a car that is not ice cold to me in the morning.

I use the third option: lock it up and let it run unoccupied by me to warm up a bit. :slight_smile:
A remote starter would be useless, 'cause I have to take it out of the garage anyway. Besides, I don’t trust those systems.

Once all you sissies move South, look at all the room I’ll have :slight_smile:

My oldest son retired and moved to Florida and asked when I was going to do the same. I told him when I get old like you. He hates driving in the snow, I kind of think it is fun.