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Eight Facts About Warming Up Your Car in Winter

Discussion in 'General Automotive' started by surfsupl, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. Jan 8, 2011 at 11:02 AM
    #1
    surfsupl

    surfsupl [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Old habits die hard, and one of the oldest — still rigorously enforced by many drivers — is that "warming up" the car for a few minutes is necessary to avoid some kind of unspecified damage.

    But idling is totally unnecessary, which is why many communities have enacted ordinances against the practice.

    Don't take my word about idling being ineffective, but do listen to my mechanic, Rob Maier, who runs Maier's Garage in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

    He says, "You don't really need to idle your car, because of the efficiency of modern fuel injection, which eliminated carburetors and chokes. The only reason to let the car idle at all is to get the oil circulating, but after 30 seconds that's a done deal. My truck has 150,000 miles on it, and I just throw it into gear and go."

    Here are some quick facts and tips that should put the idling question to rest:

    1. Driving warms the car faster than idling

    If your concern is not the health of the car, but simply your own creature comforts, Bob Aldrich of the California Energy Commission points out that "idling is not actually an effective way to warm up a car — it warms up faster if you just drive it."

    The coming electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf, will incorporate a wonderful feature that allows the owner to use a cellphone to tell the car (which is plugged into the grid) to pre-warm or pre-cool the interior. No idling necessary.

    2. Ten seconds is all you need

    Environmental Defense Fund, which produced the Idling Gets You Nowhere campaign, advises motorists to turn off their ignition if they're sitting stopped for more than 10 seconds.

    "After about 10 seconds, you waste more money running the engine than restarting it, said Andy Darrell, deputy director of the EDF Energy Program. "Switch the car off at the curb, and you'll be leaving money in your wallet and protecting the air in your community."

    3. Idling hurts the car

    According to the Hinkle Charitable Foundation's Anti-Idling Primer, idling forces an engine "to operate in a very inefficient and gasoline-rich mode that, over time, can degrade the engine's performance and reduce mileage."

    The Campaign for an Idle-Free New York City points out that idling causes carbon residues to build up inside the engine, which reduces its efficiency.
    [ Related: Five secrets to make your car last longer and save you money. ]
    4. Idling costs money

    Over a year of five minutes of daily idling (which causes incomplete combustion of fuel), the "Anti-Idling Primer" estimates that the operator of a V8-engine car will waste 20 gallons of gasoline, which not only produces 440 pounds of carbon dioxide but costs at least $60.

    5. Idling in the garage can kill you

    Idling a car in a garage, even with the door open, is dangerous and exposes the driver to carbon monoxide and other noxious gases. If the garage is attached, those fumes can also enter the house.
    [ Related: Six surprising sources of indoor air pollution. ]

    6. Block heaters beat remote starters

    Lori Strothard of the Waterloo Citizens Vehicle Idling Reduction Task Force in Canada says, "Remote starters can too easily cause people to warm up their cars for 5 to 15 minutes, which is generally unnecessary."
    A block heater, which is designed to heat the engine and can cost under $30, on a timer set to start one to two hours before driving, does the trick in very cold climates.

    7. Quick errands aren't quick enough

    Natural Resources Canada points out that leaving your car idling while you're running into a store on an errand or going back into the house to pick up a forgotten item is another way to waste gas and pollute both your town and the planet.

    "Leaving your engine running is hard on your pocketbook, produces greenhouse gas emissions, and is an invitation to car thieves," the agency (PDF) says.

    8. Idling is bad for your health (and your neighbor's health)

    According to Minneapolis' anti-idling ordinance, "Exhaust is hazardous to human health, especially children's; studies have linked air pollution to increased rates of cancer, heart and lung disease, asthma and allergies."

    Isabelle Silverman, who runs EDF's anti-idling campaign, says that car idling "is the second-hand smoking of the outdoors. One of the problems is that cars idle close to the curb, where pedestrians are walking. And when you have a child in a stroller, they are particularly close to the tailpipe. Studies show that children's IQ levels are lower when they live near major roads with lots of traffic." (A fresh study even links autism to freeway pollution.)

    Alex Scaperotta, who created an anti-idling campaign with a classmate when he was in fifth grade in Wilton, Connecticut, came up with a slogan that was used on bumper stickers and websites: "If you're stopped for more than 10, turn it off and on again." Sounds like good advice.
    [ Related: Five road-tested ways to pay less than $1 a gallon for gas. ]




    http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/aut...ht-facts-about-warming-up-your-car-in-winter/
     
  2. Jan 8, 2011 at 11:05 AM
    #2
    truckboattruck

    truckboattruck is one of the sharper tools in the shed

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    what about the different metals that expand when heated?
     
  3. Jan 8, 2011 at 11:07 AM
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    VooDoo

    VooDoo More Cowbell!

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    I <3 global warming :D
     
  4. Jan 8, 2011 at 11:08 AM
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    TACOMA TRD

    TACOMA TRD Well-Known Member

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    My truck is in drive before the starter stops cranking.
     
  5. Jan 8, 2011 at 11:18 AM
    #5
    DAN_FPC

    DAN_FPC Well-Known Member

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    Block heaters are not the same as warming up your truck. They help your truck start. When its cold out (-20 C), I let it idle. I dont care if it costs me 25 cents in fuel.
     
  6. Jan 8, 2011 at 11:29 AM
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    Juggernaut

    Juggernaut Captain

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    Idling you car is like changing your oil every 3k miles, completely unnecessary. I am not rich, and I am not patient, so I do not idle.
     
  7. Jan 8, 2011 at 11:35 AM
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    DEEVON911

    DEEVON911 Semi-Pro

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    Unless I have a bunch of ice on my windshield, I jump in and go no matter what the temp. Waisting gas if you idle.
     
  8. Jan 8, 2011 at 11:35 AM
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    Ted Nugent

    Ted Nugent Well-Known Member

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    I don't ever shut my truck off therefore i save money on batteries.....
     
  9. Jan 8, 2011 at 11:40 AM
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    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Not if you want the truck nice and warm when you hop in :D I warm up the truck, I'll pay the extra gas money and it makes scraping the ice a lot easier. I still take it easy the first couple miles so the rest of the moving parts can warm up.
     
  10. Jan 8, 2011 at 11:48 AM
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    mattcombs

    mattcombs Well-Known Member

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    Warming an engine at higher rpms when it is cold is harder on rings and other cold components that should warm up slower. Cold metal breaks easier, just like with your body its healthier to start out slowly and work your way up to a good sweat. As for pollution global warming in my opinion is a hoax, carbon is a natural building block of life and fuels plant growth. We couldnt live without it. I believe in global warming and cooling. but i dont believe it is man made, just like science shows the earth has been cooling every year since 1998. The weather is always changing.
     
  11. Jan 8, 2011 at 11:50 AM
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    KenLyns

    KenLyns Lord of War

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    Of course, the starter has limited life. Follow their advice and you can easily increase the duty cycle of the starter by 2x-3x. So instead of replacing it after 10 years, you may have to replace it after 5 years.
     
  12. Jan 8, 2011 at 11:53 AM
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    mattcombs

    mattcombs Well-Known Member

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    Good point. x2
     
  13. Jan 8, 2011 at 11:54 AM
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    Toyota Truck

    Toyota Truck Well-Known Member

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    I always thought if didnt let your truck warm up you could run the risk of crackin the block.
     
  14. Jan 8, 2011 at 12:04 PM
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    t4daddy

    t4daddy Well-Known Member

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    Global Warming is a crock, brought to you by the same folks as Y2K. There was some motorcycle company (Husqvarna I think) that did a ton of testing on this very thing, the best I recall there numbers showed a 100% increase in engine life (checking compression values) if the engine was warmed up before putting a load on it.
     
  15. Jan 8, 2011 at 12:10 PM
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    mattcombs

    mattcombs Well-Known Member

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    Good to know some of us still can look past what people tell us that isnt true and use down to earth common sense. Global warming is just another way for Al gore and other extemist to cash in on others ignorance. I like a warm truck and ima let er idle. lol
     
  16. Jan 8, 2011 at 12:16 PM
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    wired_af

    wired_af Well-Known Member

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    I usually let it idle long enough for the engine RPM to come down then drive off and take it super easy until it's warm.
     
  17. Jan 8, 2011 at 2:47 PM
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    cantac09

    cantac09 Official TW Igloo Builder

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    this might be ok when its only -10C but when its -20C and colder i plug it in and warm it up.
     
  18. Jan 8, 2011 at 3:01 PM
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    Capita

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    I let my truck idle in the mornings.
    It was very cold the last few mornings and I hate scrapping the windows inside and outside. I don't mind spending the little extra on gas. Much cheaper then running into someone because my windows are all iced up.
     
  19. Jan 8, 2011 at 3:08 PM
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    Unknown

    Unknown He who angers you conquers you

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    Same here
     
  20. Jan 8, 2011 at 3:11 PM
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    Matic

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    LIES!!!
     
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