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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-27-2012, 08:39 PM
Hellpuppy Hellpuppy is offline
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Warmup question: how soon to drive it hard

Just trying to get opinions. I moved to a new house that's about 2-3 minutes from a major highway where traffic moves at 55 mph or better. Now that it's cold out, my temp gauge is still in the blue when I come to the main highway. I don't like getting on the throttle too hard when the engine is cold, but you need to accelerate quickly or you'll get run over on this road. So I've either been letting the car warm up for a few minutes before setting off, or taking a longer route to the main road. Even so, the temp gauge isn't quite to the normal zone when it's time to pull out into traffic. Should I let it warm up a little longer, or is it okay to accelerate as hard as I need to once it's out of the blue zone? The colder the weather gets, the more this might be an issue.
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2012, 08:46 PM
briangl92 briangl92 is offline
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It's not that great for your CCV system to let the car "warm-up" In the traditional sense (i.e. idling until its up to temp). It's much better to drive it normally until it's up to temperature. As far as accelerating hard, I've heard it's much harder on the bearings while it's cold. I usually wait until its at least 2/3s the way to fully warmed up before going over 3k RPM.
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2012, 08:48 PM
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The ideal (and strongly recommended) procedure is to drive off *gently* within 60 seconds of starting the engine, keeping the RPMs under 3500 to 4000 until *all systems* are up to full operating temp. Coolant is always the first to make that mark, oil temp takes considerably longer. Plus, there`s gearbox oil, diff fluid, and oil in the shocks to consider....in milder weather, a few miles may be sufficient, but below freezing, it can take up to 10 miles or so for everything to reach FOT....

Letting the car cold-idle for extended periods of time is taboo as well....
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2012, 09:34 PM
heztheone heztheone is offline
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what i do is i start the car, wait for it to idle at around 700RPM, drive off gently until the temp reaches mid-way (never exceed 3k RPM). once i feel that everything is running smoothly (listen to it, feel how the gears are engaging and so on...) i do whatever the heck i want usually takes around 5 minutes in the winter and 2-3 min during summer.
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  #5  
Old 11-27-2012, 09:57 PM
lgr122 lgr122 is online now
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I normally don't wait before going, but i do keep it under 3000 RPM till temperature reached normal middle. Normally takes about 2-3km.
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  #6  
Old 11-28-2012, 09:45 AM
scarede46er scarede46er is offline
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^this. trust the BMW engineers, who recommend exactly that.
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2012, 10:14 AM
WhitexLightning WhitexLightning is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heztheone View Post
what i do is i start the car, wait for it to idle at around 700RPM, drive off gently until the temp reaches mid-way (never exceed 3k RPM). once i feel that everything is running smoothly (listen to it, feel how the gears are engaging and so on...) i do whatever the heck i want usually takes around 5 minutes in the winter and 2-3 min during summer.
How hard to you run your car everytime you go out? And how many miles on your car?
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2012, 10:53 AM
Hellpuppy Hellpuppy is offline
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Originally Posted by scarede46er View Post
^this. trust the BMW engineers, who recommend exactly that.
I get that advice and I try to follow it. The trouble is, those engineers must not live within 2 miles of a road where semis are bustin' down the road at 60 mph and you just can't baby it if you don't want to become a hood ornament. 3000 rpm comes up fast on these engines. Where I used to live, I could poke along for several miles until I sensed things were nice and warm but now, just 1.2 miles and it's time to start the show. I've been starting the car and going back inside to turn off lights and grab my jacket, but even after that the needle is still deep in the blue when I pull off. Guess I'll have to keep taking the long way to the highway.
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  #9  
Old 11-28-2012, 11:42 AM
heztheone heztheone is offline
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Originally Posted by WhitexLightning View Post
How hard to you run your car everytime you go out? And how many miles on your car?
RPM most of the time between 3k and 5k, swift driving, and drifting whenever i get the chance, which is in every drive i get She's 96k miles young
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2012, 10:36 AM
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You should be completely fine being 2-3 minutes off the highway. It's not like you need your car to go balls out on the merge is it?? LOL.

I know I can moderately accelerate (shift at 3,000-3,500) like everyone else does and have no problem getting into traffic. I live uphill from a highway on ramp so the engine never gets a good chance to warm up to the highway since it's all downhill. I will mostly keep the vehicle in low gear to keep the RPMs from going high on the downhill. After a block or two I will put my manual transmission into neutral so it doesn't have to rev high as I speed down the hill at 35MPH. I don't really want fuel cutoff to happen when it's cold as it cools an already briskly warmed engine down to cold again so that's why I will let it idle on the way down the fastest of the hill to keep fuel moving through the block to warm up. There's enough stop and go to even keep the oil moving around to the right places when I'm not in neutral. If your car is auto don't worry about it...your car should stay in low enough gear that it won't activate fuel cutoff. Fuel cutoff is when your MPG/fuel economy gauge pins itself all the way to the right when the wheels are in motion.

Once at the highway...the engine heats up quickly and takes another 5 minutes for heat to turn on and come through the upper vents which is when the coolant temp is in the middle. My car has a 158,000 miles on it and hasn't skipped a single beat! Sometimes she'll complain on the 1st half block from being cold...but then she's fine. LOL
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  #11  
Old 11-29-2012, 10:57 AM
scarede46er scarede46er is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellpuppy View Post
I get that advice and I try to follow it. The trouble is, those engineers must not live within 2 miles of a road where semis are bustin' down the road at 60 mph and you just can't baby it if you don't want to become a hood ornament. 3000 rpm comes up fast on these engines. Where I used to live, I could poke along for several miles until I sensed things were nice and warm but now, just 1.2 miles and it's time to start the show. I've been starting the car and going back inside to turn off lights and grab my jacket, but even after that the needle is still deep in the blue when I pull off. Guess I'll have to keep taking the long way to the highway.
It is not hard to accelerate to highway speeds in a reasonable time at 3000 RPM each shift. Once you are cruising, just put it to overdrive. And let the needle get to the middle before beating on the RPM.
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  #12  
Old 11-29-2012, 02:23 PM
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I stay below 4k RPM until the car hits all the way to the middle on the temp gauge. By then, I have usually encountered a numb nuts who must be passed and therefore high RPM is required.
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  #13  
Old 11-29-2012, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fast bob View Post
the ideal (and strongly recommended) procedure is to drive off *gently* within 60 seconds of starting the engine, keeping the rpms under 3500 to 4000 until *all systems* are up to full operating temp. Coolant is always the first to make that mark, oil temp takes considerably longer. Plus, there`s gearbox oil, diff fluid, and oil in the shocks to consider....in milder weather, a few miles may be sufficient, but below freezing, it can take up to 10 miles or so for everything to reach fot....

Letting the car cold-idle for extended periods of time is taboo as well....
+1
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  #14  
Old 11-29-2012, 02:56 PM
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Just for my edification, what's the mechanical explanation for warming up a car before it driving it too hard? Thin out the oil? Loosen up/expand the seals/gaskets? Anything else?

I notice my clutch judders a little taking off from a stop when the car is cold, and the MTL in the gearbox likes to push back until I've warmed it up a little.
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  #15  
Old 11-29-2012, 03:29 PM
roverT roverT is offline
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Originally Posted by smolck View Post
By then, I have usually encountered a numb nuts who must be passed and therefore high RPM is required.




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  #16  
Old 11-30-2012, 03:41 AM
Hellpuppy Hellpuppy is offline
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Originally Posted by roverT View Post
You should be completely fine being 2-3 minutes off the highway. It's not like you need your car to go balls out on the merge is it?? LOL.
Actually, the issue is it's a 4-lane road with a stop sign, so there's no merge, you just pull right out into the travel lane. It can be tough to get an opening depending on the time of day. It's funny because the road I live on is dead quiet.
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  #17  
Old 11-30-2012, 03:49 AM
Hellpuppy Hellpuppy is offline
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Originally Posted by Scottji View Post
Just for my edification, what's the mechanical explanation for warming up a car before it driving it too hard? Thin out the oil? Loosen up/expand the seals/gaskets? Anything else?
I dunno, I've always thought warming up an engine gently is an obvious thing to do, so components expand uniformly and you don't get hot spots while other parts are still cold. But then I grew up with air-cooled engines (VWs). It's probably not as much of an issue with modern cars.
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  #18  
Old 11-30-2012, 07:31 AM
roverT roverT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellpuppy View Post
Actually, the issue is it's a 4-lane road with a stop sign, so there's no merge, you just pull right out into the travel lane. It can be tough to get an opening depending on the time of day. It's funny because the road I live on is dead quiet.
Then you just wait until there is an appropriate opening. I'm sure others behind you won't be honking at you because you are waiting for that. There are much slower cars that can't even do half of the E46's acceleration when cold. After 2-3 minutes of driving, your engine can handle AT LEAST the acceleration of a much less powerful vehicle than yours. Just don't be impatient and put yourself into a position where you have to get on it to 6000RPM. These cars have been tested in the extreme cold areas of Sweden a few miles from the Arctic Circle. If these vehicles can't pass that, they don't deserve to be put on the road.
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