Good question. I am far from the "mechanical type", but I have asked this question of my friends who are. Generally the advice I get is to wait until the engine idles down and at that point it is okay to get cruising.
One of my friends used to be very systematic about firing up his VW Jetta and waiting 3 minutes before even thinking about shifting out of park, even on a hot summer day while we're burning up. For what it's worth, he's still driving that car and has a ton of miles on it.
I recall the "Wait a minute or two before driving" statement from 20 years ago. I do not think it is relevant any long with the equality of engines and oil these days but then again it can't hurt. I have not noticed a high rev at all on my E. I live in the DC area and we have had some cold days lately but I have only had a steady low idle.
i think that is normally on all the cars..
especially when its really cold outside. The ECU is progam to warm up the car faster. Plus its a 4cylinder motor it takes longer to warm up compared to a v6 or v8.
Even my friend's lexus RX300 his car rev highed and slowly to normal idle
Are you sure about that tommy.roks? I would think that a high revving 4 cylinder engine would warm up a lot faster than a V6 or V8. I know that the heat in my sidekick comes on a lot sooner than the heat in my V6 GMC which would indicate that the 4 cylinder warms up faster.
Most of the time I go with the book answer but I do tend to let the E reach operating temp (or very close to it) before I drive. I worked around big diesels on ships and never placed them online until they were up to operating temps. Probably not necessary with new engines but hard habit to break. Later, Jake
I listen to a guy on the Radio out of Northern Va, his name is Pat Goss. You probably have seen him on Motorweek. He said idling is hard on the engine, and you should start your car and drive away in 25-30 seconds.... unless it's literally zero outside - then a minute or two...
He says rule of thumb is waiting in idle is worse for the engine moreso than beneficial. If it's cold - take it easy - drive gently until the engine warms up a little.
New engines, new technology, thinner oil - it's different in 2003.
I wonder why idling would be hard on an engine. Maybe Carbon build up? On the engines I'm used to being around excessive edling is not great because carbon will build up that then needs to be blown out. Maybe idling a warmed up engine is not great but with a cold engine you have a choice, little bit of carbon you can burn off or thick oil and fast moving parts. I would like to know his reasoning I mean, every time you sit in traffic, unless you turn your engin off your just idling, sometimes for hours at a time. Later, jake
These vehicles are really no different than any other motorized vehicle.
Fuel injected vehicles much like carburetors need to warm upin cold weather.
The ECU will sense things like OAT(outside air temp.) CHT (cylinder head temp.) etc.. With this info it will start and run to preset high idle speed and adjust idle speed according to that info.I am in CT. and the temp averages around 25- 35 lately and warm-up takes 2-3 minutes before the ECU brings it down to 600-700 rpm. Cars are made to run at optimun temp. ranges. Running cold just like too hot can cause a host of problems starting with poor performence. Let the ECU do its job, warm-up your vehicle!!
My understanding is that by idling cold, you're letting the gas wash down the cylinder wall and thin the oil film, increasing friction and compromising your oil. Once warm, the wall temperature is high enough to prevent the gas from condensing or accumulating on the cylinder walls.
I start the car, let it idle for about 5 seconds to fill and pressurize the oil journals, gas it up to ~3K rpm for a second to really splash down the cylinders with oil, then drive under light-moderate loads until the temp gauge reaches the operating range. I don't really pound on it until it's been at operating temperature for about 5 minutes, since the oil takes longer to heat up than the thermostatically-controlled water jacket around the block.
In response to the warm-up period I would not be concerned with the gas washing down the cylinder walls. The fuel injection systems today atomize the fuel/air mixture so precisly and the spark timing is so accurate that the amount of residual fuel left unburned is not even measurable, hence fuel efficient vehicles. Barry
Ray: But in more southern climates (like Iowa, for example) warming up the car may not be necessary. And in fact, all you're doing when you warm it up under those conditions is wasting gasoline and creating pollution.
Tom: So how do you know when your car needs to be warmed up? The car will tell you. If it stalls, it needs to be warmed up.
Ray: If you can drive away without stalling, then no warm up is required. And in fact, the best way to fully "warm up" the engine is by driving the car gently for five to ten minutes.
Tom: Most cars, in above-freezing temperatures, shouldn't need any time to warm up. So if it's above 32 F and your car stalls when you try to drive away, you may have some other problem, and it's probably worth getting the car checked out.
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