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Old 01-06-2012, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Chicago
3,569 posts, read 6,623,471 times
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Everybody and their mother since I was little says you have to.
And my parents get mad when I don't keep the car running for 5 to 10 minutes before taking off.

Internet says that only applies to older cars with carburetors...
which cars qualify to be warmed up? Like what year did they start coming out without carbs
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,719 posts, read 28,381,238 times
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Carbureted cars typically didn't run well cold - hence the requirement for a choke (once manual, then auto) to enrich the fuel mixture. And even after starting, they didn't run well. Fuel injected cars start almost instantly no matter what the temperature of the engine. Most of them run flawlessly right after starting.

So no - I don't warm up my vehicles before driving. I usually start the car, put on my seatbelt, and get situated before moving. I do that just to give the engine time to get oil circulating. We have two Hondas with 3.5L V6 engines. They are completely warmed up (temp gauge at full normal) within two miles (about 5 minutes from my house).
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,869 posts, read 14,349,346 times
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You never had to warm up a car.
You could always just drive away.
It may not be the best thing for it but you can.

There are many reasons to warm up your car first depending on the outside temp.

At what temp are you starting this ritual at?
30*F, 20*F. or lower.

Most of the time I like it warm in side the vehicle.
Driving wearing gloves or mits and all bundled up is dangerous. Frosting up the windows with your breath limits your vision.

The colder it gets the longer it idles.
When it is below 0*F your oil is to thick to flow.
(think about using the right weight of oil for winter or switching to a synthetic oil)
Even when you are seeing oil pressure most of the oil is going past the bypass and back into the oil pan until it warms up some.

Do you have a block heater?
If so use it coupled with a timer.
Have it come on 2hr before you intend to leave this will limit any warm up time.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:32 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
1,084 posts, read 3,489,159 times
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I usually let mine run about 2-3 minutes before rolling in the winter. I think the manual says to let it run atleast 30 seconds to let the oil circulate through the engine.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:47 AM
 
33,414 posts, read 31,347,216 times
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with modern fuel injected cars, i drive away as soon as 15 seconds or so after starting the engine. this allows oil pressure to properly build up, and oil to get properly circulated through the engine before a load is placed on the engine.

with older carbed cars, i generally get moving after about 45 seconds to a minute. in addition to getting the oil circulation going, it also allows the combustion chambers to come up to a temperature where the engine will run under a load without stumbling too badly. you just have to feather the throttle when moving from a dead stop.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Ohio
780 posts, read 2,611,699 times
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I warm up the car I'll be driving between 2 and 10 minutes depending on temperature.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:05 AM
 
7,493 posts, read 11,017,579 times
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I only warm mine up for a few minutes.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Central Jersey - Florida
3,377 posts, read 13,733,023 times
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On our fuel injected cars, I wait until the engine comes off high idle. Usually a minute or two, sometimes less. On my 1970 Duster (carburetor) I wait a bit longer, especially when cold. That car runs much better after it's warmed up.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
9,308 posts, read 19,169,744 times
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NO!!!

Letting a car idle is the worst thing you can do to your engine in the course of everyday driving.

You should let it run about a minute to make sure the oil is circulating throughout the engine before putting it under a load, but any more than that does more harm than good.

In the old days when we had cars with carburetors, they didn't function properly until they were fully warmed up. Better to shorten the life of your engine than have your car stall in the middle of a busy intersection, so back then we did let them run awhile.

But today's computer-controlled fuel-injected vehicles automatically compensate for cold conditions so that is no longer necessary. The only reason to let them warm up is to get the heater up to operating temperature so the interior is nice and toasty before you take off. Lot's of people do this and that's their business, but it's not good for your car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alacran
Like what year did they start coming out without carbs
Cars predominantly had carburetors from the beginning of time up until the late 1980s. Fuel injection has been pretty much universal since the early 1990s.

Last edited by duster1979; 01-06-2012 at 10:32 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:34 AM
 
118 posts, read 623,864 times
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You know I've heard this but maybe you can help cure some ignorance here. What exactly is the harm in an idling engine? Its not like any components are being stressed, and furthermore when you drive for long periods on the highway, you're doing all that driving pretty much at the same RPM (admittedly in this scenario there is load on the engine, maybe this is a significant distinction?)
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