How important is it to first warm up the car? winter

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Has it really been proven that not warming up the car in the winter, will damage your engine in the long run? And if it is in fact required, how long should you let it idle before driving off? Any links on this topic?

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lbbs wrote:

The viscosity of cold oil prevents to lubricate your engine properly. So, worm it up before giving a working load.
Ideally, you shold idle it until the temp gauge reach the "Norm". Otherwise you can listen for the sound of working engine. If you're sure you hear that oil started to run about (engine calms down), it's time to go.
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Michael,Michael, Michael where did you get this idea !!! What you are suggesting is terribly wrong.
An engine warm up a lot quicker under a light load. You burn fuel more efficiently, and the lubrification of the engine is more effective.
If you can afford it and if you live in a very cold area I suggest you to use Synth. oil or a good dino 5w30.
Let the engine running for about a minute and drive with an egg under the accelerator for the first few miles, THAT is the best thing to do for cold start.
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net.FAKE.CUT.IT says...

I let mine sit for a few minutes before I start driving. Anyone ever feel their car lurch forward when cranking? Nice cold thick trans fluid sticking to transmission parts. The transmissions also jerky right off the bat. (thunk, oh i didnt wait for fluilds to finish flowing in my transmission) Its best to wait till those fluids to start flowing and fill in all the surfaces before their loaded. Cold starts are where most engine wear occurs.
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Personally, I think warming up your car in winter is a waste of time and gas. As long as you drive gently for the first couple of miles you'll be OK. If you happen to have a carbeurated car (unlikely) then you might need to warm it up.
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scott snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com (Childfree Scott) wrote:

Depends on what your definition of "cold" is, and what kind of oil you use.
Cold starting an engine that has synthetic oil at 0F isn't good for it. Cold starting an engine with non-synthetic oil at 0F is just plain stupid. At any temperature colder than that, at the least the engine needs to be heated. Ideally, the engine block, the battery, the oil pan, the transmission, and the interior *all* have heaters at temperatures lower than 0F.
Even a heated engine with non-synthetic oil shouldn't be started at -20F or colder if the oil pan doesn't have a heater. At that temperature the oil has consistency of grape jelly, and lubricates just as well too.
Of course, if the bearing grease and the differential lube aren't the right kind, it makes no difference if you can get the engine to start at -50F or not, because the vehicle won't move anyway.
-- Floyd L. Davidson <http://web.newsguy.com/floyd_davidson Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) snipped-for-privacy@barrow.com
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"Floyd Davidson" wrote

Really, I guess I must have been doing things wrong up here in the frozen north for the past 27 years. We just had a nice little cold snap, down to -36C overnight. The old k-car started up quite nicely...didn't even have to plug her in. No synthetic either. Oh sure...things howl and whine a bit as you drive off, but I've never experienced any engine failures on any of the cars that I've owned since living here in Canada.
> Even a heated engine with non-synthetic oil shouldn't be started

Wow....all of Canada is doing it wrong. I don't see very many vehicles with oil pan heaters...if any at all. Block heaters work fine...if you really need them.
Ian
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Ever live where it gets cold?

So you are telling us you started your car at -36C (-33F)...

cold, and with dino oil in it? (Mind if I call you an idiot?)

Did it occur to you just what it is doing to make it whine as you drive off? That's the sound of metal being shaved off of cylinders, bearings, etc... because there is no oil.
And at -36C your dino oil isn't going to be slick or even liquid for 10-15 minutes. Try that at -50C... I don't think the car would last one winter.

You aren't going to get any 200,000 miles on 'em either.
When you sell them, do you tell the sucker^H^H^H^H^H^H buyer how you've mistreated the vehicle?

If you don't know better than to start cars cold at -36C, you are not well enough informed or capable of representing, or even describing, what "all of Canada is doing".
The next time you have a cold snap, go buy a quart each of synthetic and non-synthetic oil; let them sit outside for 3-4 hours to get them cold and then open up and try pouring the oil out of the container while it's cold. Come back and tell us how long it took to get the dino oil out!
-- Floyd L. Davidson <http://web.newsguy.com/floyd_davidson Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) snipped-for-privacy@barrow.com
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wrote:

How many miles of road are there in Barrow? Bob
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I spent 20 years living in Salcha, some 40 miles southeast of Fairbanks, and working in Fairbanks. I put 200k+ miles on three different cars.
Which is a wee bit of experience, given I've seen -70F once, and have seen weeks go by when it never got warmer than -40F. (Which isn't bad, as other places in the interior get down to -80F.)
All of that is the reason I live in Barrow today. It's significantly less extreme as far as cold weather goes, and I typically drive about 2 miles a day rather than 80-100. We've got maybe 40-50 miles of road, but I make an effort not to use them!
Around here if you don't plug in your vehicle, you won't get 20,000 miles on it!
-- Floyd L. Davidson <http://web.newsguy.com/floyd_davidson Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) snipped-for-privacy@barrow.com
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"Floyd Davidson" wrote

It gets plenty cold enough here to be able to see what happens to vehicles when you cold start them. So you live somewhere "really" cold. In that case, your advice is correct..."for you".

Feel free. Might as well call probably 80 percent of our one million inhabitants of this city idiots too. Our cars start quite well and don't "blow up" because of the cold starts. I work as an automotive technician for a living and engine failures are almost always due to poor maintenance, coolant intrusion into the engine oil...etc. Not cold starts on regular oil.

What does occur to me is that you really do have no clue. The whining noise is "metal being shaved off of cylinders, bearings etc" eh? That's a good one. Just for you own personal info, the whining noises happen to be emanating mainly from the alternator, and a bit from the power steering pump. I couldn't hear any whining noise from the engine anyway, as the piston slap is loud enough to drown out any other noises. Oh yeah....the piston slap is there at all temperatures, don't get excited.

I didn't say at -50C. If I lived in those conditions and drove in those conditions for any extended period of time, I'm sure I'd change to a different oil and use my block heater. Even now, if I get the chance, and I remember, I'll plug the car in. Simply for ease of starting and quicker heat.

Please....I've gotten more then that out of most of the vehicle I've driven. Two of them that I drove for another 4-5 years already had over 200,000 miles on them. Other, more gullible people on the internet will probably lap up your nonsense, but I've actually been driving and repairing cars long enough to know better.

What planet are you from?
Ian
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shiden_Kai wrote:

...started up quite nicely in mid of october and will be shut down in march?
Ha ha... Just kidding... :)
But there are some places on Earth where that is only way to keep your car on duty if you don't have a heated garage. In that lands -36C is not a cold snap, it's a thaw. That's true. Believe me.
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net.FAKE.CUT.IT says...

Theres a lot of articals in google if you search for "cold start" "engine wear" Use the quotations so it searches for those groupings of words.
Heres one that happens to be from a canadian http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/jk/030312.htm His qualifications are at the bottom of the site.
Opinions are as we all know.... However I see no reason what so ever to slap a car into drive right after its started in the cold or even in the summer. I personaly like to allow fluids to flow a little and allow some thermal expansion to take place before I put a load on anything. I dont like being pushed out of bed and made to run in the cold so why would I do the same to my car? Would you run a race before stretching? Some are saying that it would goto into close loop faster if you ran it. Yeah so it would, however as I see it I would rather replace a cat conv before an engine any day. High performing race engines are allowed to idle before their ran. Especially if they have aluminum connecting rods. Metal gets on the brittle side when its cold so let it build a little heat before you stress it. If you dont like to wait then do like some suggested and keep the rpms down. Thats good, I do that as well. Putting the car in neutral so the trans fluids flow while it idles is a good idea as well. Either way most of us are set in our ways so lets leave it at that.
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On Thu, 19 Feb 2004 00:09:24 -0500, Michael

Such as at the station in Antacrtica? The planes they send down there never get shut down when there, they leave them running, otherwise the oil will gel, from operating temp, in a matter of minutes. Local ANG is one that does missions down there, and was involved in the rescue of the doc. that had cancer. I actually think it was a plane from our base that picked her up...
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You wanna see a stressed pilot, just get on one of the milk run flights across the North Slope on a day when it's -40. Most of these are Beech 99's or Cessna Navajo twin engine turboprops. They *have* to shut the engines off to allow passengers and freight to be move on and off the planes. The anxiety level for the pilots is a geometric progression if things don't progress fast enough! (I've never seen a plane get too cold to start though, so anxiety seems to do the job!)
Of course, those are propeller driven planes. Here in Barrow the 737's that Alaska Air flys in don't shut down the engines while on the ground.
-- Floyd L. Davidson <http://web.newsguy.com/floyd_davidson Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) snipped-for-privacy@barrow.com
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I was a C-130 flight engineer in the Coast Guard, and the only thing in the flight manual about operation in extremely cold weather was to let the engines run in ground idle for some brief interval after starting (5 minutes or less, as I recall) before putting a load on them, when the ambient temperature is below some level. It was a really extreme temperature threshold; -40F comes to mind.
There was definitely nothing in there about not shutting the engines down at all if the temperature is below a certain value. Maybe there are special, supplementary procedures employed by the NY ANG for use during the Antarctic winter. I never heard about any special cold-weather precautions being taken with our planes that are based in Kodiak, Alaska.
I have JPEGs of several of several LC-130s parked wingtip to wingtip in Antarctica. There are special heating units that blow air onto the prop domes through the holes in the spinner tips, and into the intakes, to warm the engines prior to starting. That would appear to be what they do when the planes have remained overnight, which I'd think they do more often than not because their staging area (Christchurch) is such a long flight away.

If it's Plattsburg AFB, New York, it would have to have been. The New York ANG took over the Antarctic support mission from the Navy several years ago.

It's not the engines so much as the batteries. Extremely cold temperatures can reduce the cranking power of batteries.

Barrow isn't very big. I'd think that because of the small number of people getting on and off, the planes don't stop long enough to justify the hassle of shutting down and starting up again.
Geoff
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On 19 Feb 2004 14:30:29 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@u1.netgate.net (Geoff Miller) wrote:

Stratton ANG base in Scotia, NY, or maybe it's listed as Glenville, NY. I work just up the road from it, big airshow there every year and they've had the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds perform. I think the Blue Angels were there the last 2 years, they fly right over my place of work, so I get to see them in action.
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snipped-for-privacy@u1.netgate.net (Geoff Miller) wrote:

It's the engine not the battery. If the engine is warm enough, it starts without needing much from the battery. If it's too cold to start, all the battery in the world won't start it. The batteries are also fairly well protected, and are not going to get so cold for several hours that they wouldn't provide enough energy to crank the engines. On the other hand, the engine doesn't have to get nearly as cold as the battery would before it has a problem. Remember that the engine is designed to get rid of heat. The battery can be in an insulated container designed to keep it warm for hours...
But the big problem is that they do not have facilities in the villages to heat the plane. If it gets cold enough, it'll be there until someone brings in the equipment to restart it. That's big bucks.
BTW, it isn't just that "extreme cold" reduces cranking power. It's a simple case of the colder it gets the less energy can be extracted from the battery. I don't recall specific figures for lead-acid cells, but with each degree in temperature drop there is a drop in available energy. However, even at -50F a typical battery will provide enough energy to start a warm engine. Its just that if it doesn't start, with a warm battery you can crank it for several minutes convincing yourself that it really won't start! With a cold battery, a few minutes or even less than a minute is all you get. (Either way, it isn't the battery!)

A whole 737 full of people and cargo is just as big in Barrow as it is anywhere else.
And they commonly don't stop *anywhere* long enough to justify the hassle, but it is less expensive to shut it down if restarting it is easy and reliable. However, the facilities to power the plane and to restart are not economical here, nor are mechanics available if there is a hitch. Plus, it is true that there is never any reason to hold a plane here for any length of time. They typically do a turnaround in about 1 hour. At other airports (Anchorage is a good example) they may have scheduling reasons to keep an airplane on the ground for half an hour longer, or even more, just to wait for passengers from another arrival that might be transferring to that particular aircraft.
Hence, at locations other than Anchorage and Fairbanks (Juneau I'm not sure about) in Alaska they leave them running more as an insurance policy that anything else.
-- Floyd L. Davidson <http://web.newsguy.com/floyd_davidson Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) snipped-for-privacy@barrow.com
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C-130's don't use battery power to start the engines, anyway. They use electricity generated by the APU. IF the APU requires a battery for start, it doesn't take a whole lot of energy to do it. I've never crewed a 130, but I've done my time on F-4s and F-15s, plus a lot of transient in between. F-4s never used the batteries to start (couldn't - needed external electrical and air sources). F-15s don't even have a battery.
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In case you're responding to something I wrote rather than to Floyd (it's hard to tell, what with all the quoted text you included)...
Actually, they use bleed air generated by the APU, which in turn is started with the battery. (The APUs on the newer models generate electricity also, but the engines still use pneumatic starters.)
But I didn't mention C-130s in connection with batteries. I mentioned them in connection with somebody's assertion that the ones flown to Antarctica are never shut down, but are flown out again after unloading/reloading because of the cold.
Where I mentioned batteries was in regard to the small recips or turboprops that Floyd was describing before he mentioned 737s.

Actually, it uses a pull cord like a lawnmower. If you've ever noticed bootprints on the left landing gear sponson, that's why.

How can an airplane not have a battery? What provides standby power to things like instrument inverters and lights in the event of an electrical failure?
Geoff
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