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Thread: Should I warm my car up before I drive?

  1. #1
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    Should I warm my car up before I drive?

    With winter fast approaching and the temperatures already dropping I was just wondering if I should warm up my car before I drive?

    Beside the benefit of the car being warm inside, does warming up my car make it last longer, or save money in repair bills/costs?

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
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    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

  2. #2
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    With winter fast approaching and the temperatures already dropping I was just wondering if I should warm up my car before I drive?

    Beside the benefit of the car being warm inside, does warming up my car make it last longer, or save money in repair bills/costs?
    FWIW, Dom, my take is this. Allow the engine a couple of minutes to get full oil pressure and circulation. Then drive gently until the engine is up to full working temperature. You then have the advantages that the engine is fully lubricated (this can take longer than you might think) and, by virtue of the temperature all the component parts are at the optimum operating clearances.

    I drive the car out of the garage, get out, shut the garage door, get in the car and drive off, probably a couple of minutes from start-up. I then take it easy for about the first four miles or so before I floor it - seriously.

    Ken.
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    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    With winter fast approaching and the temperatures already dropping I was just wondering if I should warm up my car before I drive?

    Beside the benefit of the car being warm inside, does warming up my car make it last longer, or save money in repair bills/costs?
    With late model (computer-controlled, EFI) cars they (the manufacturers) say you should just start and go, though obviously you shouldn't hammer the thing until it's fully warmed up. This is the recommended procedure (they say) because it helps the emissions system work optimally, faster, by reducing converter "light off" times, among other things.

    For anything without a computer - or with a carb - letting it run until the choke kicks off is a good idea because it will keep you from dropping the transmission into gear with the engine running at close to 2,000 RPM (a mini "neutral drop") in fast idle. Carb'd vehicles are also more finicky and don't run nearly as well until the engine is fully warmed up, which helps to atomize the gas better.

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