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View Full Version : Another "warming up car" question


richard
01-09-2003, 02:44 PM
I realize there is no need to let the car idle to warm up, but with a cold winter blast coming our way I have a question. Would I be doing any harm letting the car warm up a few minutes before driving? It would be nice to run back in the house while the car interior gets a little heat in it.

pps-325xit
01-09-2003, 03:25 PM
Should have got them butt-warmers...:thumbup:

Bob330Ci
01-09-2003, 04:16 PM
I've been told that warming up the engine and trans separately can be bad for the trans, but I don't know how valid that statement is. The break in period for the engine recommends you don't let it idle for a long time (what's considered long?) too, so it may not be the best thing for it. OTOH, probably not the worst either. Hopefully someone a little more knowledgable will reply.

B.

Kaz
01-09-2003, 04:26 PM
I believe the rationale for a light-load warmup period is so that it will warm up faster. Since the engine runs more efficiently and wears better at operating temperature, the faster it can get there (while doing it safely) the better.

And also warming up while on the move warms up the tranny and diff.

I guess people don't use engine heaters anymore. I know BMW sells engine warming kits in the colder European countries and they are rather involved.

The HACK
01-09-2003, 04:34 PM
4 words for y'all: Move to So. Cal. :thumbup:

I always wonder if half the stuff that we do, our little rituals in the morning in getting the car going is actually doing any good to prolong the life or the engine, or lessen it.

In the past 15 years or so since I first got my learner's permit, every single car that I've ever driven I've never really followed any sort of warm up rule, and yet every single one of those cars has had at least 120,000 miles on them ('cept the Z3...terminated that lease) before they're either traded in or distroyed in an accident.

Now, if I'm going to be keeping my 'Ci for the next 20 years, until it runs past 500,000 miles, then perhaps I'd worry about my maintenance habits and how I warm up the car. But, most likely I will not be keeping this car past the 15 year mark, and at most I'd be at 300,000 miles and I can safely say that the engine will still likely be running strong. Now, as for the other components of the drivetrain, I'd worry about it when it breaks...And either trade the car in or junk it if it's not worth the hassle to trade in or fix. :dunno:

Artslinger
01-09-2003, 04:41 PM
Originally posted by Kaz
I believe the rationale for a light-load warmup period is so that it will warm up faster. Since the engine runs more efficiently and wears better at operating temperature, the faster it can get there (while doing it safely) the better.

And also warming up while on the move warms up the tranny and diff.

I guess people don't use engine heaters anymore. I know BMW sells engine warming kits in the colder European countries and they are rather involved.


I remeber those block heaters we would use in our 70s Chevys, the cars were a pain to start without them.

Kaz
01-09-2003, 04:42 PM
Well, I think all these things (warmup, breakin, synthetic oil) is all Russian Roulette, and the more of these things you follow the less bullets are loaded in the pistol.

I'm sure there are cars out there with 500,000mi that got 20k oil changes with swap meet motor oil, was never broken in, and warms up at 4000rpm for 5 mins sitting out in sub-zero weather in Minnesota, and will still pass CA smog and not burn a drop of oil, not to mention never having any other fluid in the car ever looked at let alone flushed and changed.

That doesn't mean that in the first 6mo of treating some other car that way that it won't just drop a rod on you and blow up, either.

fkafka
01-09-2003, 04:44 PM
Two good reasons not to idle your car:

1. The catalytic converter only works once it's hot.

2. Your neighbors won't hate you.

Artslinger
01-09-2003, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by Kaz
Well, I think all these things (warmup, breakin, synthetic oil) is all Russian Roulette, and the more of these things you follow the less bullets are loaded in the pistol.

I'm sure there are cars out there with 500,000mi that got 20k oil changes with swap meet motor oil, was never broken in, and warms up at 4000rpm for 5 mins sitting out in sub-zero weather in Minnesota, and will still pass CA smog and not burn a drop of oil, not to mention never having any other fluid in the car ever looked at let alone flushed and changed.

That doesn't mean that in the first 6mo of treating some other car that way that it won't just drop a rod on you and blow up, either.

So you're saying a engine from a warmer climate (CA) will last longer than an engine used in a colder climate like Minnesota.

You may be right, it would be interesting to see some data on cold weather and engine wear.

Kaz
01-09-2003, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by Artslinger
So you're saying a engine from a warmer climate (CA) will last longer than an engine used in a colder climate like Minnesota.

You may be right, it would be interesting to see some data on cold weather and engine wear.

Hmm, I didn't mean to imply that...

But I guess that's not implausible.

Most restorers/collectors want warm-weather cars mostly because they're not rusted out, not necessarily because the motor is in better shape.

Artslinger
01-09-2003, 05:04 PM
I remember one winter it was so cold when I shut my car door the door handle snapped right off.

When the weather here drops to sub-zero temps the car has a tendency to creak and moan, so the engine might be the least of your worries as far as wear goes. The grease, bushings and seals becoming less effective might be more of a problem for wear.

Emission
01-10-2003, 11:02 PM
I agree with Hack and Kaz.

When you are five-years-old, it is better to eat the apple than the candy bar for desert. Now, as a seventy-year-old man you've got a lot more to worry about than some candy you ate as a child.

A bunch of cold idles aren't going to matter - your car will die for some other reason (and you won't be the owner when it does).

operknockity
01-10-2003, 11:28 PM
Originally posted by The HACK
4 words for y'all: Move to So. Cal. :thumbup:
NO! It's crowded enough in SoCal already. Stay away or you'll die from smog, an earthquake, or just from old age sitting in your car on the freeway in rush hour :D

Artslinger
01-11-2003, 08:09 AM
My opinion, the weather in CA doesn't get cold enough to affect synthetic oil. As long as you keep the RPMs out of the high range until the oil warms up to the preferred operating temps all is good. I have no idea how you can determine the oil temp without guessing since BMW has decided not to provide a oil temperature gauge.