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Posted: 3/28/2009 5:00:17 PM EDT
This could end up being one of those 5-page threads where the shop guys bicker over whether or not it's necessary to give your car any idling time in the morning, but I was just wondering what the overall concensus is.

For me, if it's cold outside (below freezing) I will let it idle for about the length of one song on the radio. What is that, like 3 minutes or so? If it's between freezing and, say, 50 degrees, I'll give her about a minute. Warmer than 50 and I'm in gear and moving after 30 seconds of idling.

I guess if it's really friggin' cold out, like -20 or some shit, I will start the truck and then run back inside and let it sit for 10 minutes, but that's more for me than the vehicle.


How about y'all?
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:02:51 PM EDT
I have an older diesel. If I left it idle when cold, it looks like someone popped smoke.
Once warm, its normal. The neighbors don't approve.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:02:57 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:04:20 PM EDT
Usually like 15 seconds or so. I'll jump in, start it up, then buckle up, play with the radio, throw on sun glasses, then take off
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:04:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2009 5:05:39 PM EDT by Zack3g]
depends on the weather. if it's cold, and i've got time, i'll let it warm up to operating temperature, for nothing other than the ability to have heat from the moment i get rolling.

more often than not, i start the engine and go. This usually means the engine is running for about 30 seconds or so while, as the above poster said, i'm getting my seat belt on, adjusting the radio, doing whatever else might come along before going.


bikes, i usually let them warm up to operating temperature before riding. doesn't take them long, and can't hurt anything
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:05:49 PM EDT
Not long, I just drive conservatively until it gets to normal operating temps.


Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:05:51 PM EDT
if its cold out ill turn it on and run back inside until it warms up. If not its in gear and were rolling.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:05:53 PM EDT
On the average day, I'll give it about 15 seconds to get the oil circulating.

When it's really cold, I hit the remote start and give it a few minutes for the heater to kick in.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:06:08 PM EDT
Turn truck on, put in gear, let clutch out and im gone.......hey it's FL after all
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:06:42 PM EDT
3 min or so for the motorcycle. Just drive off with the truck.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:06:44 PM EDT
3 hours
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:08:01 PM EDT
I throw the car in gear and go. It is far more important to go easy on the throttle untill the engine is up to operating temp, then you can put the spurs to her!
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:09:48 PM EDT
I let it idle until the engine comes off of fast idle, which is just just about long enough to buckle my seat belt, check my mirrors and oil pressure gauge. I take it very easy until the engine temp is in normal range though. That, and I run synthetic oil.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:11:34 PM EDT
As long as it takes to give Al Gore a conniption.

Diesel - sit until the transmission temp gauage moves. The motor is not too far behind that in getting warm.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:12:12 PM EDT
In on 1

I got a diesel so I just plug it in at night and the next morning its ready to go. When I fire it up its at about 160 so I let it idle for about a minute and then I'm good to go. No frost on the windows is also nice.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:13:05 PM EDT
However long it takes to shift into drive.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:13:14 PM EDT
Start it, hit the garage door opener, back out, watch the door close, gone.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:13:15 PM EDT
If it's 60+ then in the Jeep I'll just go easy on the gas until the temps are up. If it's colder, I'll wait until the temp gauge starts moving then go (still going easy on the gas).

With the 4G64 w/forged internals, I wait until the temps are completely up before I even touch the pedal, no matter what the season. Piston slap is not nice.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:14:05 PM EDT
I give a good 30 seconds for oil to make it's may from the pan to the valves unless there's an overriding reason not to (zOMBIES!)

I don't have any vehicles with less than 100K miles and the engines are good in all them.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:14:26 PM EDT
Letting your engine 'warm up' on a cold morning by idling is not a great idea. Cold oil and low pressure thereof can cause wear.

It's best to just get in and drive it. The engine will warm up in a few miles.

Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:14:42 PM EDT
"Warming up" was necessary back around 1960 or so. Old habits die hard. Like people who carry an empty chamber under the hammer in a modern revolver, because that was how they did it in 1873.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:16:17 PM EDT
I use to let them warm up a bit but read somewhere (maybe owners manual, who knew?) to drive as soon as possible. Engine will actually heat up faster while driving (again, who knew?) and get to the proper operating temperature.

When it's really cold car will get warmed up to passenger's comfort level.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:19:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By larkinmusic:
However long it takes to shift into drive.


Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:21:55 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:22:11 PM EDT
I don't let it warm up, ever. Just enough time to start, get radio faceplate, seabelt etc on and go. If I'm hurry I'll start and drive and do the seatbelt and radio while I'm on my way out of my neighborhood.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:23:44 PM EDT
As long as it takes to clear the windows of frost/ice and warm up the cab. I don't like to dress heavily in the truck, since I then have to schlep the jacket everywhere. When it is below zero I let that bitch run for 1/2 an hour or so. From 0 to 32 I usually let it run for 10-15 minutes. Above that, since there is no ice on the windshield, I just hop in and go. It doesn't burn much fuel to let the vehicle clear the windshield for me, and not having a cold steering wheel is nice. I don't do it for the vehicle, I do it for me.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:24:17 PM EDT
Remote start my truck is always running when I get in.
Cool in the summer and warm in the winter!
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:24:59 PM EDT
Start vehicle.
Put on seat belt mandated by safety Nazis.
Put into gear and go.

10 seconds?

Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:25:08 PM EDT
I have low viscosity synthetic oil (0W-30) that doesn't require warm up. It doesn't get below 20F around here anyway.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:26:43 PM EDT
Till the windows are almost totally defrosted.
Could be as long as a 1/2hr.
This is even when the pichup is plugged in.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:27:19 PM EDT
Zero. It was in the Seventies today.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:27:30 PM EDT
1 second to 30 minutes - depending on weather conditions.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:28:10 PM EDT
About 10 minutes regardless of weather.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:28:16 PM EDT
If it's cold outside, I'll start it and go in the house for a few. Otherwise, a minute or so then drive conservatively until it's warmed up. I drive like a grandma anyways.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:28:18 PM EDT
It depends on how much of a hurry I'm in. If I have a few minutes, I let it warm up while I scrape the snow off. But if there's no snow, I just leave. I've never had a problem even remotely related to it. Now it doesn't get TOO cold here, just down to -20F.

The car I have now is a cheap American car, almost never used synthetic in it, and I've had it for more than a decade. Still works great.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:28:59 PM EDT
I always like to let it warm up a bit. It's a 97 jeep grand cherokee with about 170K on it. Usually a minimum of 3-5 minutes.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:31:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By larkinmusic:
However long it takes to shift into drive.


this
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:34:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dilbert_556:
I let it idle until the engine comes off of fast idle, which is just just about long enough to buckle my seat belt, check my mirrors and oil pressure gauge. I take it very easy until the engine temp is in normal range though. That, and I run synthetic oil.


Ditto. She sits 'till the idle drops, then it's on the road. Exception is when it's south of twenty degrees or so, I'll give it until the heater gets it's game on then
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:34:31 PM EDT
as long as it takes the oil pressure gauge to move.
so basically start and go.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:35:24 PM EDT
depends on the vehicle. truck is get in and go, when the crx ran for about 10 minutes before itd settle into an idle
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:36:43 PM EDT
Long enough for the oil pressure to come up, and then about 5 seconds after that.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:37:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Subnet:
Long enough for the oil pressure to come up, and then about 5 seconds after that.


doesn't pushing that longish pedal on the right make the pressure come up?
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:40:02 PM EDT
As long as it takes me to shift into reverse. If it's below 0, I might start it and go back in the house for 5 mins or so.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:40:22 PM EDT
Regardless of the outside temp, I let the car run for about 20 seconds and then I drive away. The colder it is outside the easier I drive until the oil temp gets to normal. If it's really cold, I won't exceed 2500 RPMs for the first few minutes (my engine redlines at 8000RPM).
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:42:59 PM EDT
On cold mornings like below fifty degrees I will let it idle for 10 minutes or so just until the cabin warms up some. Heated leather seats FTW. I hate the cold with a passion but soon that will no longer be a problem.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:43:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2009 5:46:28 PM EDT by 57Strat]
Originally Posted By pdxshooter:
I use to let them warm up a bit but read somewhere (maybe owners manual, who knew?) to drive as soon as possible. Engine will actually heat up faster while driving (again, who knew?) and get to the proper operating temperature.

When it's really cold car will get warmed up to passenger's comfort level.



I think the reason the manual recommends driving off as soon as you start the car is so you'll heat up the catalytic converter, which minimizes emissions. Cars put out alot of pollution until the catalytic converter gets hot.

Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:43:35 PM EDT
Enough time to put my seatbelt on and put it in reverse; so no time at all.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:43:37 PM EDT
Since it rarely gets below 30, and my engine isnt 40 years old, I usually just start up and go.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:45:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By XMM:
This could end up being one of those 5-page threads where the shop guys bicker over whether or not it's necessary to give your car any idling time in the morning, but I was just wondering what the overall concensus is.

For me, if it's cold outside (below freezing) I will let it idle for about the length of one song on the radio. What is that, like 3 minutes or so? If it's between freezing and, say, 50 degrees, I'll give her about a minute. Warmer than 50 and I'm in gear and moving after 30 seconds of idling.

I guess if it's really friggin' cold out, like -20 or some shit, I will start the truck and then run back inside and let it sit for 10 minutes, but that's more for me than the vehicle.


How about y'all?

What is this "cold," "freezing," and friggin' cold" you speak of?

Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:55:47 PM EDT
As an automotive teacher, here is my professional opinion.

Engines like to operate within a specified temperature range. Too hot or too cold is not good for them. As the internal parts reach operating temperature they expand to the dimensions they were designed to have. Cold parts increase clearances and accelerate wear. The engine oil also needs to be at a certain temperature to do its job. As an oil's temperature decreases its viscosity, or resistance to flow, increases. Cold oil will not flow as easily to the moving parts of the engine and cause a lack of lubrication and again, accelerated wear.

Cold engines also do not operate as efficiently.Cold engines do not burn fuel as completely as a warm one will, and this can cause a larger quantity of unburned fuel to be blown by the piston rings and end up in the engine oil. Since both gasoline and diesel fuel are solvents of engine oils, this can cause a drop in oil viscosity resulting in reduced lubrication and accelerated wear. This problem is best demonstrated in old mechanically-injected diesel engines that have the propensity for wet-stacking. Wet-stacking could happen when an engine is left at idle for very long periods of time and enough unburned fuel builds up to fill the cylinder. This causes the engine to hydro-lock since the fuel is non-compressable as a normal air charge is. Hydro-locking causes damage to the piston and typically bends the connecting rod. the force of this collision causes damage to all the bearings in the engine and warrants an overhaul or new engine.This has been resolved with advances in technology, especially electronic engine controls, but is a good example of the extreme results of incomplete combustion inside an under-temp cold engine.

Idling for 1-3 minutes is going to have a marginal effect on the temperature of the internal components and lubricating oil. In cold weather, a diesel engine will never heat up to operating temperature at idle. Diesels are very thermally efficient and at idle typically radiate more engine heat than they produce. Most modern diesels will automatically go to a high idle or high idle with an imposed load (exhaust restriction) condition to maintain engine temps once a drop in coolant temperature is noticed or a specified time period has elapsed.

My recommendation is to let the engine run until the oil pressure has time to build. If you don't have a gauge on your dash, oil pressure should build well before 5 seconds after engine start-up. Once you have oil pressure, go ahead and drive. Be easy on it the vehicle easily until it reaches operating temperature, so no burn-outs or drag-racing until the engine reaches operating temp. Once it is up to temperature go ahead and work it if you need to.

Hope this helps.

Link Posted: 3/28/2009 6:04:59 PM EDT
If its cold out I'll let it idle to clear the windows if we had freezing rain or snow. If its warmer out, I'll let the car drop out of high idle then baby it through the neighborhood.
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