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#4620715 - 01/01/18 02:40 PM Vehicle warm up question
otis24 Offline


Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 1656
Loc: South Dakota
I know that some people are in favor of warming up a vehicle. Some are in favor of just driving gently for the first few miles.

My Driver Information Center displays oil temperature, among other things. Would you be more likely to let a vehicle warm up, particularly in Sub-Zero temps, if you knew the oil temperature? Secondly, at what oil temperature would you consider the vehicle "warmed up"?
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#4620731 - 01/01/18 02:53 PM Re: Vehicle warm up question [Re: otis24]
5AcresAndAFool Offline


Registered: 12/18/16
Posts: 421
Loc: Indiana
I would consider 100 degrees warmed up enough to drive normally in sub zero temps. I believe in my 4 cyl car the oil cools off quickly when the car goes back to just putting around after being on the interstate ect...

I wish I had an oil temp gauge.

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#4620739 - 01/01/18 02:58 PM Re: Vehicle warm up question [Re: otis24]
JohnnyJohnson Online   content


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2765
Loc: Wet side WA
As a rule of thumb I've always used when the heater starts pumping out heated air as an indication the car is warm enough to drive.
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#4620751 - 01/01/18 03:06 PM Re: Vehicle warm up question [Re: otis24]
JLawrence08648 Online   content


Registered: 01/20/17
Posts: 237
Loc: NJ
During warmer weather, 10 seconds; freezing 30 seconds. I use synthetic oil, but any oil is at the top of the engine lubricating within seconds.

The highway is 1 mile from my house so in the colder weather I drive around 2 blocks before I pull out as the revs are too high if I don't.

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#4620752 - 01/01/18 03:07 PM Re: Vehicle warm up question [Re: otis24]
CourierDriver Offline


Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 4952
Loc: Tn.
It was 16 degrees here this AM, running 5w30 conventional,,just start up and put in drive,,my ancient 2005 Lasabre,, runs well.
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#4620758 - 01/01/18 03:10 PM Re: Vehicle warm up question [Re: otis24]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
When it's down below freezing, I always wait until I feel SOMETHING other than ice-cold air blowing out of the heater vents.
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#4620770 - 01/01/18 03:30 PM Re: Vehicle warm up question [Re: otis24]
Bryanccfshr Offline


Registered: 10/09/04
Posts: 5717
Loc: Durango, Co
My 4runners have auxillery electric heat, my bmw does to. I just drive normally(gentle like an adult )until the temperature is up. In the bmw the oil temp gauge starts moving at 160, which is an indication that the engine had warmed sufficiently to accelerate more aggressively if I want to.
The f150does not have auxillery heat and it sits outside. I start it up and idle with the defrost and heat on for 15-20mi utes wheni it is really cold for both visibility and personal comfort..that machine serves me.
They all run fine.
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#4620791 - 01/01/18 03:49 PM Re: Vehicle warm up question [Re: otis24]
supton Offline


Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 11981
Loc: NH
When the vehicle will move forward is when I think it's ok. But I don't have to merge onto a highway or deal with awful traffic either--so I can hop in and go (gently). Which I have been doing in this current cold snap, where it's been negative temps at night and maybe +5F during the day. Most days I start, get out and clean off the car, and then go. Been eons since I had a car that truly needed to warm up (back in the bad old carb days).

Now I usually wait to turn on the heat until coolant is 100F or better (if I have the luxury of a readout). Otherwise it's just too cold to run the "heat".

I do like getting into a warm car, but it's not that often that I let it run for 10 minutes.
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#4620802 - 01/01/18 03:58 PM Re: Vehicle warm up question [Re: otis24]
Audios Offline


Registered: 11/19/11
Posts: 888
Loc: Lyndhurst NJ
When its this cold out, I usually try to give them at least 30 seconds of idling just to get the oil moving before taking off. I gave the TDi about 5 minutes this morning while I helped my wife with something quick, 0 degrees out. Gave it 3 glows and it fired up, a bit smoky but no problems. I usually never let the gassers go longer than 2-3 minutes, no matter the weather.
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#4620819 - 01/01/18 04:14 PM Re: Vehicle warm up question [Re: otis24]
javacontour Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 10306
Loc: Illinois
-4F this AM and I decided to take the 99 Grand Marquis that sits outside, and has been sitting about a week. It started right up. I put on my seatbelt, plugged in my phone and drove off slowly. The best way to get a car to operating temp is to drive it. In a couple of miles at 30-40 mph I was getting heat from the heater.

FWIW, I am using a 1 year old $49 Value Power (or whatever the name is of the WalMart value battery) and the car started just fine.
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#4620829 - 01/01/18 04:26 PM Re: Vehicle warm up question [Re: otis24]
cronk Offline


Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 1288
Loc: Watertown, New York
I look at it more from the safety factor. I like to at least get enough heat to make sure the defroster is working and I can clear the windshield.

It was -32f here last week, car started up fine with 0w40 but took 25 minutes before I got the windows thawed out so I could see safely.
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#4620837 - 01/01/18 04:33 PM Re: Vehicle warm up question [Re: otis24]
PimTac Online   content


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 4325
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
I know some posters may disagree but if you are living in a cold weather state like South Dakota and have electric access, I would have a oil pan heater running in sub-zero weather. It might not be feasible for every parking situation but at home when itís likely to be parked the longest I would. Anything that helps the engine is a plus. 0w-xx oils are another suggestion.
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#4620839 - 01/01/18 04:37 PM Re: Vehicle warm up question [Re: javacontour]
Mr Nice Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 21202
Loc: Orlando, FL
Originally Posted By: javacontour
-4F this AM and I decided to take the 99 Grand Marquis that sits outside, and has been sitting about a week. It started right up. I put on my seatbelt, plugged in my phone and drove off slowly. The best way to get a car to operating temp is to drive it. In a couple of miles at 30-40 mph I was getting heat from the heater.

FWIW, I am using a 1 year old $49 Value Power (or whatever the name is of the WalMart value battery) and the car started just fine.


I agree, start engine let it run for 7-8 seconds and then drive.

I used to live in Charlotte, NC and it never got very cold but no need to run engine for 5 minutes.

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#4620847 - 01/01/18 04:41 PM Re: Vehicle warm up question [Re: otis24]
Bluestream Offline


Registered: 09/13/03
Posts: 5758
Loc: Waterloo, ON
seconds then drive away slowly...Maybe a few minutes when its -35
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#4620853 - 01/01/18 04:47 PM Re: Vehicle warm up question [Re: otis24]
xxch4osxx Online   content


Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 2605
Loc: Cedarbrae, Ontario
I remote start my Ram, so it always gets at least 10 mins or so warm up time before I go.
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