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Warming Up In cold Weather??

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by fedyfedz, December 16, 2011.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. D Hook

    D Hook Elite Explorer

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    Well, even the experts disagree on this but the first sentence is probably the most sensical. (But be sure to read the whole article):


    Three things you don't discuss over the dinner table: Religion, politics, and how long a car should warm up before driving in the cold.

    When it gets cold, more people are letting their cars run a while before hitting the road.

    General Motors issued a news release recently recommending that motorists warm their engines before driving as a way to reduce engine pollutants.

    "While this may seem counterintuitive, a warm engine emits significantly fewer unburned hydrocarbons during the first accelerations," GM said in the release promoting its remote starters for cars, sport utility vehicles and pickups.

    "That's because the catalyst that traps the unburned hydrocarbons only activates once the engine is warm," the automaker notes.

    Not everyone agrees that letting a car idle in the driveway is a good practice, even on a cold day.

    Idling will not help emission control systems reach operating temperatures, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

    "Modern vehicles need little warm-up. Idling for long periods in cold weather can actually cause excessive engine wear," the EPA notes in a report.

    Some municipalities have anti-idling ordinances aimed at reducing greenhouse gases.

    In some Canadian cities, including Toronto, it's illegal to allow a passenger vehicle to idle for more than three minutes.

    Idling is a source of pollution that governments want to reduce because of airborne particulates and smog.

    Technically you can get in your vehicle and drive without a warm-up even on the coldest day. The electronic fuel systems and lubricants in newer cars can handle low temperatures, said Ken Kempfer, an automotive technology instructor at Fox Valley Technical College in Wisconsin.

    A car will warm up quicker when it's driven, said Joe Bruzek, an editor at Cars.com, a Web site for car enthusiasts.

    Drive gently the first few minutes in the cold, but a minute or two is enough of a warm-up, according to Bruzek.

    "Letting your car idle in the driveway for 10 minutes is more about getting into a warm, toasty vehicle after drinking your coffee in the living room," he said.

    A car driven in 14-degree weather for 12 minutes will reach the same operating temperature as one that idles for 30 minutes, according to a study by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

    Yet there are merits to running your car's engine some before driving in the bitter cold - especially if it helps clear frost off the windows.

    Some people want to warm up a car putting a baby in it.

    And some experts think it's good for the vehicle.

    A car's lubricants and fluids are sluggish in the cold, said Gary Klopp, director of automotive services for AAA-Minnesota.

    "Let the car come to its senses, so to speak, before you put it in gear," he said. "That's going to be much better on most of the mechanical components."

    Klopp said he can tell by the sound of his car when it's ready to go.

    He has learned to listen to the creaks, groans and other noises associated with a cold engine and transmission.

    "When you start your car in extremely cold weather, there's high oil pressure, friction and other things going on. Everything in the engine is trying to find its mechanical mate and jive," Klopp said. "To just start the engine and take off, I think, is abusing the car. At some point it's going to result in premature wear."

    Read more: http://journalstar.com/business/loc...005-11de-b5c6-001cc4c002e0.html#ixzz1gtOqdpjQ



    And another opinion:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/glob...-car-first-or-start-it-and-go/article1939752/


    This is the school of thought I subscribe to: (copied from http://autorepair.about.com/b/2008/12/01/warm-your-toes-warm-up-pie-but-dont-warm-up-your-engine.htm)

    There are many good points here. Just thought I’d throw my two cents in…
    Confort? Yes warm seats are a comfort, but what about defrost? I can scrape my windows, but it’s hard to scrape the insides of the windows when it’s 5 degrees outside. Not to mention breathing in an ice cold car does fogg windows. Warming up your car for 4-5 minutes is a definate help on the safety side.

    To start on oiling, and diesels, I’ll start by saying that I’m an ASE master certified medium/heavy tech. I also have advance diesel engine cert. I’ve been a service manager for school bus fleet for one of the top school bus companies, and idling is a huge deal with much controversy.
    Idling has started to become taboo in the med/heavy truck field. Mostly because of waste of fuel. When you run that many miles, 10 minutes of idle does become a huge deal. Especially every day and with many trucks, it adds up really fast. Also, for diesel owners, they do need a minute or two warm up time to get the cylinders hot enough to fire the fuel efficiently. Again this has been helped with new technology. Beyond a few minutes, diesel engines will not warm up efficiently without moving down the road. The engines do not create enough heat at idle to stay warm, you have to load them. So you won’t warm them up efficiently by letting them idle in the driveway. Idling also causes fuel wash, which is the excess fuel washing the oil from the cylinders. This can really damage an engine fast. That’s why if you leave a new Ford, Dodge, or Chevy diesel idling, it will raise its own idle. It also cuts fuel to alternating cylinders to make it work harder and cut fuel wash.
    Block heaters are designed to warm coolant(comfort), warm the cylinders(better fuel burn), and keep coolant from freezeing in extreme cases(so does proper coolant maintenance). They are almost a requirment on diesels so the fuel can fire when cold.

    As for oiling, cold starts are always hard on an engine. The best thing you can do is prepare. If your worried about oiling, check you recommendations, it probably says to put a lighter oil in extreme cold conditions. Do it. It will help so you don’t have to idle your car for an hour to get the oil warm. Oil also won’t warm without moving through the engine, so driving the car will warm the oil faster. And as for hard shifting, that is usually a sign of a problem. Time to change trans fluid, sticking valves in the trans, weak pump, or sticking pressure regulator. This also will warm faster if your moving.
    Manufacturers are working to design vehicles that will require minimal warm up time with the least amount of premature wear. Your also talking about a minute amount of excess wear.
    In my opinion, its probably best to start the car, warm it up while scraping the windows, with the defrost on. Then get in and drive as soon as you can safely see. Less idling is best, but I don’t think we’re ready to completely get rid of it in the north.
     
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  3. blue_goose

    blue_goose Active Member

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    Couple things I do in response to this:
    I can see Canada from my house and it will get into -40 consistently about 2 weeks a year, usually hitting -50 at least once. Due to the crap oil pan these have, I don't have a heater on there, and I've heard the dipstick ones are crap. Being my truck came to me (2nd owner) from Ohio it dosn't have a collant heater either. Yes I need to install one and its very important but it hasn't happened one yet. But I have never had it not start on me (I know thats not the point of a block heater, this is just added cause its interesting). We had a week where it didn't get about -25 and it dipped to -45ish at night. It sat unused all week and one afternoon when it was -20something we had to go to canada and it started. It obvisouly wasn't happy about it at all but it started and after letting it run for a long while we left.

    I let mine run for a certain amount of time, with that amount of time getting longer the colder it gets. I then try to keep the rpm's under 2000 or 2500 at the very most while driving until the temp guage starts to register. However, the at this point tranny still isn't that warm, so I try and keep it below 3000. Once the engine is at full operating temp the tranny is usually good to go so I drive it however I need.

    The tranny starts to warm up the moment you start the vehicle. It just takes a while. To warm up the tranny faster, I set the parking brake and shift it to drive and let it idle (after letting it run for a bit) to use more friction to warm it up faster.

    Now, for my patrol vehicle (08 Tahoe) whenever its fall/winter its always plugged in, regardless of how cold it is. Even in 40 above. 'cause when I get called out in the middle of the night, I have to jump in and hammer down and I figure any extra amount of heat available will only help as I'm going wide open to some crazy call with a very cold engine.

    That's how this northerner does it. I would still like to hear what everyone else does and how many miles are on their vehicle cause that will be the best test as to which method is better. Mine has 150k and strong as can be. The Tahoe has 43k, and I would be impressed if it reaches 150k (the agency sells them around 50k) with the way we drive it.
     
  4. Limited02

    Limited02 Well-Known Member

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    When mine is outside and it's cold, I'll start it up, give it a minute or two then drive off. The only issues I have and may be your problem too, is when it's below freezing, I have to crank the fan speed up to high to get air moving and then I can lower the speed. Otherwise, it stays cold inside and doesn't do a thing. I will also mention that I LOVE my heated seats in the winter:D:D:D
     
  5. fedyfedz

    fedyfedz Active Member

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    wow I didnt check this thread in couple of days and it got blown up lol. I dont mind the cold, I get in in the morning and turn it on check all my gauges then drive off i never wait for it to warm up i give it a little bit for the idle to drop to normal. I live in long island so it doesnt get that cold.


    I run royal purple 5w-20 i believe, would that technically be worse for the cold weather?


    Plus theres no reason to fight....its the friggin holiday season!!!
     
  6. RickM

    RickM Active Member

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    Synthetic oil is far superior to dino oil as it retains it's viscosity at temperature extremes.
     
  7. guilateen

    guilateen Active Member

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    Do you have the digital temp control because mine does the same. I believe its ment to stay off until it can blow out warm air on its own. When you turn it up you override it. The computer sees no sense of blowing cold air out the vent which can further frost your windshield. Does anyone else have the abs and airbag light on before it warms up. I've had this happen in extreme cold.
     
  8. Limited02

    Limited02 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I learn something new everyday!!! And yes, I have the ABS light come on when it's very cold out. I simply shut it off, restart and it's as good as new. Mine won't go away until I restart it.
     

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