Warming up

Tom and Ray, thanks for many useful tips and for plenty of entertainment over the years.

In today’s columm (Seattle) you advise not warming up a car like “in the old days.” I have a wonderful 1995 Camry wagon. It has fuel injection of course, but is that from the “old days” or not?

Additionally, when we old timers used the “Idiot book” to maintain and repair our VW bugs, the author advised warming up because when the oil is cold, there is more wear and tear on an engine going fast (i.e., the car is moving) than when the engine is idling, thus the preference for reasonably warm oil when you start to move forward.

Any thoughts on these two questions? Thanks. Dick (Seattle).

A VW bug had a carburetor and a choke, and warming it up for a few minutes was necessary in order to get decent driveability. A car with fuel injection is driveable virtually instantly, as long as it is in good mechanical condition and has been maintained properly.

The best way to warm up a modern engine as rapidly as possible is to drive it slowly for the first 10 minutes or so. That means keeping the revs down as low as possible until the temperature gauge registers normal operating temp.

And, as long as you are using a motor oil with a viscosity that is appropriate for your climatic conditions, the oil circulates very nicely within a few seconds of start-up.

P.S. Tom & Ray do not respond to these questions.

A) 1995 is not considered the “old days” in terms of automotive technology. For automotive technology, 1980 might be considered the “old days.”

B) Your 1995 Camry is nothing like the original VW Beetle. The VW Beetle was air cooled, had a manual choke, and was pre-fuel injection.

Basically, anything that doesn’t have a manual choke shouldn’t need to be warmed up.