On 18 Feb 2004 13:19:11 -0800, scott email@example.com (Childfree
I agree. I get in the car, let it idle for about one minute and
slowly take off driving. I DO have a carbureted car too.
People that let their cars idle for long periods are actually doing
more harm, at least with a carburetor type engine. They start the car
and go in the house and le it idle for 15 minutes or more. Well,
because no one is stepping on the gas, the engine is isling with the
choke closed most of the way. So, until someone steps on the gas to
open the choke, the engine is sucking in huge amounts of gas, and that
gas is washing all the oil off the cylinder walls and pistons. Worse
yet, that gas is getting into the crankcase, diluting the oil, and
doing more damage.
Get in the car, start the engine, let it rev for a minute, accellerate
a few times, and start driving. If it's severely cold, you might take
another minute, but no more. Also, when it's severely cold, I shift
into neutral for a part of a minute. That gets the auto-trans fluid
| Scott) wrote:
| They start the car and go in the house and let
| it idle for 15 minutes or more.
In Washington, D.C. you can get a $50 fine for leaving your car idling
unattended. If the engine is running someone MUST be in the driver's seat.
They're starting a crack-down campaign this week on that, as a matter of fact.
Probably theft prevention. The Seattle Tacoma area is one of the
leading areas in the country for auto theft, and one of the more
common ways to lose a car is to start it up on a cold morning, and
sit inside drinking a cup of coffee. And many of the people go out
and find their car missing.
Damn it . . . Don't you dare ask God to help me.
| > In Washington, D.C. you can get a $50 fine for leaving
| > your car idling unattended. If the engine is running
| > someone MUST be in the driver's seat. They're starting
| > a crack-down campaign this week on that, as a matter oa
| > f fact.
| What brought that on? Is it being presented as a safety
| issue, an environmental issue, or a theft-prevention
From what I understand, theft prevention. Even if you lock the car doors, they
will still levy the fine
I used to have an 84 Buick LeSabre, and after that, an 89 Cadillac Brougham.
I found that on some days, the only way to keep the car going was to sit
behind the wheel and keep my foot on the pedal, giving it short bursts of
gas to keep the engine from stalling. When it kicked down to low idle (choke
opened), I'd need to leave it running for another 5 minutes so that it
didn't stall under initial load.
I remember having to replace the Buick's carb after some garage goon
stripped the thread of the fuel filter housing, spilling fuel all over the
manifold. It really changed the car's character... after that, it needed
three pumps before starting on days below -10.
Carbs were tempermental as hell during cold days, but gave the car a lot
Chokes increase the richness of the air/fuel mixture, but
they do it by restricting -- "choking" -- the volume of air
coming into the engine, not by increasing the amount of fuel.
Since gasoline is volatile, that gas comes right out of the
oil as soon as it warms up. And since the engine is running
with no load on it *before* it warms up, I'm not sure I see
how any additional wear, let alone damage, would be inflicted
on the engine.
I saw a training film years ago about how to cold-proof an
airplane in preparation for letting it sit in extremely
low temperatures overnight. The airplane used as an ex-
ample was an old P-2 Neptune, which is relevant because
it had piston engines. Using controls in the cockpit,
it was actually possible to pump small amounts of gasoline
into the engine crankcases to keep the oil from thickening.
No harm was done, since the gas evaporated when the engines
warmed up the next time they were started.
What's the purpose of revving the engine a few times? (I take
it that this is what you mean by "accelerate.")
"I should've told you I was a leper
before we made love." -- Sam Kinison
I'd say give it 2-3 minutes, so that the oil gets a chance to circulate and
any knocks and slaps quiet down. My LT1 is noisy as hell because the pistons
shrink, so I wait until the noise disappears and then go. I keep the engine
below 2000rpm until the temp gauge reaches normal, just to be on the safe
You should follow your owners manual first.
But this is what I got for instructions for my smaller engine car.
Viscosities have dropped over the last few decades(i use 5w30), and
because of this, oil flows easier compared to the days when you had to
warm up your car. Also, since high fuel economy cars burn so little
gas when idling, they don't warm up fast(I tested this, 15mins on a
cold day, and still not in the normal range), and are designed that
way. So, I read on cold days start car let car sit for one minute,
and then drive away, without driving at high speeds till car has a few
more minutes to warm up.
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Not true anymore now that the engines work in closed-loop. As a
matter of fact, driving the car will warm it up more quickly because
the ECU can use a leaner charge, which heats up the engine and the
catalytic converter faster.
However, the recommendation to avoid WOT until the engine has reached
normal a temperature still applies.
My car, 1997 Buick LeSabre, never gets cold in winter, even up here
in the land of snow, Canada, since I plug in the block heater, and it
purrs evenly after the coldest night. Mind you, it takes a while for the
heater to do its stuff, but with cloth seats it's not that much of a problem,
not as it was with my leather-seated '93 Olds Delta, yuck.
What you should do is get in your vehicle, start the engine, and if it's
cold out, get out and scrape the windows. Jump back in the car
and go. There is no need to sit and idle the car for any amount of
time. Jump in it and go. That's what is best for the vehicle.
That's what I do with my truck, when I need to scrape the windows.
Otherwise, I open the door, start the truck before getting in the
seat, get settled into the truck, then take off. Planning on putting
Mobil 1 in the crankcase when I'm due for my first change on this
| 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?
Nope. Start it and drive...just don't dog it for the 1st few miles. Been
doing that for over 30 years and haven't had any engine problems yet.
my 2 cents!!!
I used to drive over 100 km (60 miles) per trip to go to work for over 4
years. I have had many GMs' and Japanese cars. They're always started
every year following regular oil change interval. I never had my car run
more than a few minutes since I did not want to waste more time in the
morning and beside it cold in the butt while waiting for engine to warm-up
does not make any sense to me, typically the time it took me to place my
coffee in cup holder and seat belt on is all its need. So far, I have not
had any engine failure prematurely because of the cold weather. In fact, I
never had engine failure and all of my cars when I get rid of it has more
than 100,000 miles. Like most people here already said, drive slow when it
is cold for a few blocks then drive like normal. My wife on the other hand
like to keep her car nice and warm. She usually has the car running for
about 20 minutes (remote starter!) then drive to work. Her GM car is still
running like top. No oil leak, no burning oil passed E-test. Just waste
gas!! So really I don't see any problem either way from engine point of
view. Perhaps BMW or other fancy car is more particularly about long idling
(morning start-up) due to engine control algorithm for fuel burning to avoid
damage to exhaust system or sensors (heard from someone who has a BMW told
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