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Just out of curiosity, does anybody actually warm up their cars before driving in the winter months? By which I mean idling the car for at least five minutes before setting off. Now I know with a turbo car, you don't really have a choice, so I won't count those.

I always thought that the best way to warm up a car was simply by driving it, and that's exactly what I do, taking care not to beat it too much before it reaches normal operational temperature. Is this wrong? Another habit of mine is turning on the car and letting the fuel pump pressurize the lines and waiting for the computer to finish it's diagnostic before starting the car. I find that way the car always starts better. So what do you guys think? Is it really that beneficial, even at the cost of a little wasted gas? Or is it purely a comfort thing so the car has heat by the time you get in?
 

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Mine is in gear before the starter releases. My brother is a firm believer in warming up though. I can't tell if it harms and engine yet because I only have 407000Kms on it.
 

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Mine is in gear before the starter releases. My brother is a firm believer in warming up though. I can't tell if it harms and engine yet because I only have 407000Kms on it.
That's enough mileage to get you to the moon, with 700km to spare. Did you take a wrong turn somewhere?
 

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I took many wrong turns in life, too many to mention....
 

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I never warm up my car. But I have to say it lives in the garage and although it's not heated it's never below freezing there in winter.
 

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Levee
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With today's engines & advanced oils, no extended warm-up period is necessary......

^^this is wrong. If you have an NA car, no warmup is needed, however, with a turbo'd car you do need to let it warm up. As oil is cold it doesn't flow as fast and has much higher pressures when cold, so if you start driving it cold and you hit even 1psi of boost, you run the risk of blowing seals out of the turbo just from the oil pressure alone. Also, it's actually better to let it warm up for a few minutes before driving as this will also help with mpg's as the colder an engine is, the more fuel it burns to keep it running as well as more fuel to help heat it up to NOT. Just some FYI. This is also why when your car is cold it idles higher than it normally does. I start my car (even my evo) and let it run until the RPMs drop (which is only a few minutes) before even thinking about moving my car.
 

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I don't until it gets cold then I have to because I hate a frozen car and it needs to help melt ice off the windows
 

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Discussion Starter #14
^^this is wrong. If you have an NA car, no warmup is needed, however, with a turbo'd car you do need to let it warm up. As oil is cold it doesn't flow as fast and has much higher pressures when cold, so if you start driving it cold and you hit even 1psi of boost, you run the risk of blowing seals out of the turbo just from the oil pressure alone. Also, it's actually better to let it warm up for a few minutes before driving as this will also help with mpg's as the colder an engine is, the more fuel it burns to keep it running as well as more fuel to help heat it up to NOT. Just some FYI. This is also why when your car is cold it idles higher than it normally does. I start my car (even my evo) and let it run until the RPMs drop (which is only a few minutes) before even thinking about moving my car.
Interesting. I assume that would apply for supercharged applications as well?
 

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Levee
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well kinda. SC's actually have their own oil that isn't the regular engine oil, so the oil for those heats up quicker and thus you don't have the issues that turbo's do. It is possible for it to be super cold, but the oil in the SC isn't really pressurized, so it won't really blow anything from being cold and getting on it a little.
 

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Plus even if you let it warm up your transmission is not warmed like the motor. I am one of them that I do not care if the maker of the car and motor said you could bust off in a cloud of tyre smoke as soon as the car turns over... I will still let it warm a tad and let the RPMs drop close to idle.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That's true, the gears need to turn in the transmission to warm it up, and you won't get that by idling. At -25ºC it's as if I'm trying to shift in a box of cement. No fun.

Learned something new about superchargers today, and fellow member's morning routines. Are there any advantages to letting the fuel pump build pressure before starting the engine?
 

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Levee
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Yes there is. It allows for full fuel system pressure before starting, thus keeping it from going really lean once it stars. Also, in the time it takes to prime the fuel pump, your injectors cycle to prime the cylinders for starting, thus allowing it to start easier and faster.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Then it's a good habit to have! My routine when I get into my car (or anyone else's for that matter) is always the same. Sit down. Put the key in the ignition and turn the car on. Put on my seatbelt. Hold the brake. Drop the handbrake. Step on the clutch. Shift into Neutral. Start the car. Advance to Go. Collect $200.
 

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I don't until it gets cold then I have to because I hate a frozen car and it needs to help melt ice off the windows
I'm with you, Money Man. In my Oldsmobile, my heater is mostly dead, so the defroster spits out mostly cool air. Not enough to melt snow and ice on it's own, anyway. I have spent many a cold morning with a window scraper. I like to give it 10 minutes or so to become bearable.
 
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