Cold starts

Spectre

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Ok, so what's the big deal of warming the car until the temp gauge moves? At that point heat works so you defog/frost everything.
Mostly that's for driver comfort, there isn't any benefit for the EFI vehicle's engine. Also, just because the coolant temperature gauge is moving off its stop doesn't mean the oil is warmed up. Oil pressure is lowest and therefore the oil is least protective and slowest to flow at idle.
 

93Flareside

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Ok. So, what's the point of 10w30 or other dual weight? Surely the 10 is for cold and 30 is the viscosity once it warms up?
 

Spectre

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Ok. So, what's the point of 10w30 or other dual weight? Surely the 10 is for cold and 30 is the viscosity once it warms up?
Mmmmm, not exactly. The short version of that is that a 10W30 oil is an oil that flows (and protects) like a 10 weight reference oil from -30C to 0C and flows/protects like a 30 weight reference oil at 100C (operating temperature). The oil may not be 10 weight or 30 weight at all.

The point of multigrade oils is that they will flow faster and protect better on cold start while being more protective at operating temperature, but even so 70+% of engine wear occurs at startup. The W means that the oil is winter rated so 'cold start' has multiple meanings for it - both cold start from sitting for a while and 'cold start' because it's below freezing outside. Also, just because the oil has flowed through the entire system doesn't mean that the oil is sufficiently protective just yet - remember, when it's cold, it's distributing the acids and condensation that accumulated in the crankcase since the last time you started it instead of straight up lubricating.
 
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fateful

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That's normal winter situation here in finland. I use preheater for engine and interior. 2hours before leaving the thing starts warming the block and inside i have a blower that heats the cabin. No hard reving before water temps are normal. No car has failed me ever and my drive to work is only 2,5 miles.

The only bad thing if you don't abuse your engine is that the battery isn't getting good charge on those small trips.
 

Spectre

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That's normal winter situation here in finland. I use preheater for engine and interior. 2hours before leaving the thing starts warming the block and inside i have a blower that heats the cabin. No hard reving before water temps are normal. No car has failed me ever and my drive to work is only 2,5 miles.

The only bad thing if you don't abuse your engine is that the battery isn't getting good charge on those small trips.
Most of the pre-heater types used in Europe are flat out banned in North America - courtesy of Volkswagen when they were selling the original Beetle over here - so that's not an option. The closest we come to that is electric block heaters which, yes, help alleviate a lot of these problems by warming the engine, coolant and to some degree the oil.
 

NotLaw

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Another point of reference here, I know in the Fairlane that the water gets up to 180? before the oil temp even thinks of moving off of the 140? low point. It takes around 5-10 minutes of highway (2500 rpm) for the oil to get all the way up to temp.

and all three of my vehicles, the Saab, Blazer, and Fairlane will start to throw usable heat from the heater in far, far less time if I drive them a few miles then they ever do if I just let it idle.

Whenever I need one of the cars to do a short trip, I will purposefully leave 10 to 15 minutes earlier (minimum) then I have to for the express purpose of driving the cars around town a bit to get some heat into the oil.
 

villej

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Speaking about letting the engine to warm up properly: I just changed the engine oil in my other car. The quality of the old oil was really poor, lots of condensed water in oil, just after 15 000 kilometres during one year. That's what cold starting a car several times a day for duration of 4 months from 0-30 degrees celcius, and driving only 5-10 minutes after those starts, does to the engine.
 
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Dr_Grip

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Varies by maker and model. On my Series III, to use something I'm familiar with, it doesn't go into closed loop until 80 degrees C engine coolant temperature. My 87 was among the first to have a heated oxygen sensor so technically that's ready in about 30 seconds to 3 minutes, but the engine still needs cold start enrichment beyond that time period ('choke' if you will) so it (like many cars) won't go into closed loop until the engine is warm enough that it doesn't need cold start enrichment any more.
Standard settings on early GM TBIs is 67?C coolant temp for closed loop... ask me how I know.
 

_HighVoltage_

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Speaking about letting the engine to warm up properly: I just changed the engine oil in my other car. The quality of the old oil was really poor, lots of condensed water in oil, just after 15 000 kilometres during one year. That's what cold starting a car several times a day for duration of 4 months from 0-30 degrees celcius, and driving only 5-10 minutes after those starts, does to the engine.
That's actually quite a lot.
 

villej

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That's actually only a half of the distance of the regular service interval. Renault says that the oil should be changed every 30 000 kilometres or once a year.
 
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Spectre

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What the fuck. I get 3,000mi is excessive but, 30,000km seems way too long.
The Euros have had a different experience with maintenance intervals - their driving environment is relatively benign so they can actually get 15,000 mile or more oil change intervals. As VW (and other Euro makers) found out when they tried to do that here, the US driving environment is far harsher environment - so even with the dealer performing the maintenance for free using the same oils/fluids/etc. they can't get anywhere near that maintenance interval here without engine damage. VW only recently has put the US interval back up to 10K for 2016 models after several years where they'd reduced it, but the rumor I've heard is that VW may be knocking it back down to 8K due to problems they're seeing.
 
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awdrifter

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I think it's pretty well established that it's not good to let the car idle for a long time to warm up and that it's far better to let it run for 30-60 seconds and then just start driving (taking it easy until it fully warms up). What I'm wondering here is whether or not it's bad to drive for only 1.5-2 miles, shut it off for an hour, drive another 1.5-2 miles, shut it off for another hour, and then drive it longer and let it fully warm up - will those two short drives make a difference or no? Again, the car will be fully warmed up for the third, longer drive.
I always let my car warm up 2-3 minutes in the morning before I drive. Maybe it's different now with new cars and new ECUs, but I've always learned it's good to warm up the engine before putting stress on it. So far my engine is at 164k and still going. So I'm not sure which is the correct for newer cars now.
 

narf

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I always let my car warm up 2-3 minutes in the morning before I drive. Maybe it's different now with new cars and new ECUs, but I've always learned it's good to warm up the engine before putting stress on it. So far my engine is at 164k and still going. So I'm not sure which is the correct for newer cars now.
Before putting stress on it - yes, make sure it's warmed up. Two minutes of idling won't do that though.
Before driving off at a leisurely pace with low revs and low load - it'll be fine after a dozen or two seconds of idling to let the oil circulate.
 

Perc

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Most of the pre-heater types used in Europe are flat out banned in North America - courtesy of Volkswagen when they were selling the original Beetle over here - so that's not an option.
Still banned, because of something that happened in the 1960's? :lol: Silly.

Most Scandinavians prefer electric pre-heaters. They're cheaper and typically require less maintenance than the fuel powered type, but you obviously need to have access to electricity. They're also nowhere near as effective.


I would say that 8 out of 10 cars have electric heaters installed. I do too and I've used it exactly 0 times since I got my Ebersp?cher. That's the same brand that was factory fit in Beetles back in the day, btw.
 

Spectre

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Well, considering that a whole bunch of people got *killed* by the damn things, it's not quite so silly. Especially when the deaths happened in this country and you realize that Switzerland still bans motor racing to this day over a bunch of people being killed in a different country in *1955* and Germany has a whole bunch of laws because of something that happened in the 1930s and 1940s...

Anyway, the Ebersp?cher made heaters had a nasty habit of either asphyxiating the occupants or setting the car on fire, sometimes both. They were (un)surprisingly complex and broke fairly regularly. US market Beetles could also come with a US made option, a special adaptation of the already existing Stewart-Warner South Wind heater. This was simpler and more reliable but it had the same issues, only less frequently. Basically there were no truly safe options for gas heater options and people eventually got tired of the things attempting to asphyxiate them with carbon monoxide, gas them with gasoline vapor, spray raw gasoline into the cabin, or simply burst into flames and attempt to burn the vehicle down to the ground. They were banned from cars once coolant and electricity based cabin heaters became safe and effective options. (The South Wind series and competitors continued to be made for several more decades for aircraft and military vehicle applications, where the idea was that they could be regularly overhauled based on hours of use - before any problem could occur due to wear. Even there they had fire problems, though.)

Even though gasoline heater technology has improved, it is still banned at multiple levels in the US because 1) it would be an unattended fire or engine - which is illegal in many states and 2) it violates Federal air pollution laws for vehicles. Instead, we mostly use electric block heaters and less commonly battery blanket or oil pan heaters in colder climates or on diesels. Diesels being far rarer here and fuel injected cars being able to start in far colder temperatures without block heaters than their predecessors, many vehicles even up north no longer come with block heaters; many don't even offer them as a dealer option any more - the US Ford Focus is only available with a block heater in Alaska, for example. It's standard there but not available even as an option in the rest of the US.

I have heard that Canada has recently made exceptions to their version of the Clean Air Act to allow modern fuel based heaters and that they've started being sold there again, but only for big diesel trucks (larger than pickups).

Since I now have a 'mainstream' motor for my market, I'm considering getting an electric pre-lube system, which is an electric auxiliary oil pump that runs right before you start the motor - this pressurizes the oil system and all but eliminates startup wear.
 
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Perc

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Well, considering...
Meanwhile, there are millions and millions of Webasto and Ebersp?cher heaters all over Europe in cars, trucks, tractors, boats and so forth working absolutely fine. :dunno:

Sure they can have problems but they sure as hell don't cause carbon monoxide poisoning or fires.
 

public

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Still banned, because of something that happened in the 1960's? :lol: Silly.

Most Scandinavians prefer electric pre-heaters. They're cheaper and typically require less maintenance than the fuel powered type, but you obviously need to have access to electricity. They're also nowhere near as effective.


I would say that 8 out of 10 cars have electric heaters installed. I do too and I've used it exactly 0 times since I got my Ebersp?cher. That's the same brand that was factory fit in Beetles back in the day, btw.
Yeah, most Nordic cars have electric block heaters that heat the coolant. I don't think those were to blame for Beetle fires...
 
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