The Truth About Cars » warm up http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 22 Mar 2015 09:19:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » warm up http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Piston Slap: Improper Engine Warm Up Procedure? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/piston-slap-improper-engine-warm-procedure/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/piston-slap-improper-engine-warm-procedure/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 13:40:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=970561   TTAC Commentator Arthur Dailey writes: Sajeev, Thanks very much for posting my question. Your answer and the comments from others were most informative. How about another? We now have only 2 licensed drivers in our home. We do however have 3 licensed cars in the driveway. Please do not ask about the project car […]

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(photo courtesy: chuckmanchicagonostalgia.wordpress.com)

TTAC Commentator Arthur Dailey writes:

Sajeev,

Thanks very much for posting my question. Your answer and the comments from others were most informative. How about another?

We now have only 2 licensed drivers in our home. We do however have 3 licensed cars in the driveway. Please do not ask about the project car in the garage. 2 of the cars are our ‘daily’ drives, the 3rd is used primarily on weekends. We live less than 3 minutes from a 400 series highway in Ontario. That means that the cars can be required to reach highway speed before they are ‘warmed up’.

My normal practice last winter was to get up, start all the cars, turn off all possible drains on the batteries. Then take the dog to the park across the street, stretch our legs and let him do his business. After about 10 minutes we return. I then turn on the heater/defrost on the 2 cars that we will be driving and scrape/brush them. When this is completed, I turn all 3 cars off and go back into the house to get myself ready for work. You may all remember what last winter was like and the upcoming winter is supposed to be similar.

Now I understand that idling is environmentally irresponsible. And possibly against by-laws in some areas. That however is a discussion for another forum.

My questions are:

  1. Is this OK for the cars?
  2. Am I better off warming up/idling our weekend car like this or leaving it all week and hoping that it is OK to start on the weekend.

Please do not suggest:

  1. A trickle charger
  2. Engine block heaters

I would love to have those as options, however none of the cars have block heaters installed and there are no electrical outlets available for either of the above suggestions (thanks to the project car).

Thanks,
Arthur Dailey

Sajeev answers:

Okay!  I will not mention your Project Car, nor your need for conventional starting aids in cold conditions. Even if your engine warm up procedure absolutely demands otherwise!

In general, start-up a cold motor and drive it ASAP in a modest, moderate manner.  What does that mean?

Perhaps that means not accelerating past the motor’s torque peak, unless necessary for merging onto a freeway. If you own a torque-less, rev-intensive motor à la Scion FR-S, the torque peak notion is invalid. No matter, avoid heavy throttle application until oil temperature is up to normal: think about your unique engine type/driving condition and apply common sense.

Thanks to advancements in fluid technology and the widespread use of synthetic-blended oil, it’s gotta be disturbingly cold (handy chart here) to do otherwise. On to your questions:

1. Why are you turning off the cars after warming them up? No! Do your stuff while they idle/thaw (when needed) and then drive!  You are only hurting them more by letting the fluids cool down again. Change your morning routine ASAP.

2. There is no reason to start-up your weekend car just to charge the battery.  If the weekend car is impossible to start after 5 days, get a battery blanket (Oops! No power right?) and disconnect the negative cable to minimize drain.  Or just give up and yank the battery, leaving it somewhere isolated from the ground, like a wood table.  More work, but if you can physically handle that heavy of a load, the exercise won’t kill ya.

No matter what, you gotta change your warm up procedure.

Bonus!  A Piston Slap Nugget of Wisdom:

Remember that oil temp isn’t measured on the (coolant) temperature needle on your dashboard. Oil takes longer to warm up, so if you aren’t fortunate enough to have a sub-menu showing oil temp, or you don’t have an app for that, wait a little while after the temp needle is happy. That makes the oil happy too.

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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Piston Slap: Time to Twist Up the Tach? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/piston-slap-time-to-twist-up-the-tach/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/piston-slap-time-to-twist-up-the-tach/#comments Mon, 10 Dec 2012 13:54:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=469596 TTAC commentator David Holzman writes: Sajeev, I have a new (to me) ’08 Civic LX 1.8 liter, stick, bought with 35k on the clock. The previous owner was a woman who traded it for a RAV4 I think (I bought the car from a Toyota dealer). I’m guessing partly based on gender stereotypes that she […]

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TTAC commentator David Holzman writes:

Sajeev,

I have a new (to me) ’08 Civic LX 1.8 liter, stick, bought with 35k on the clock. The previous owner was a woman who traded it for a RAV4 I think (I bought the car from a Toyota dealer). I’m guessing partly based on gender stereotypes that she wasn’t availing herself of the high revs to flog a lot of performance out of the car.

If I want to wind it up a lot, does it need first to be broken in for high revs ? (Red line is 6750. I’ve taken it just a little beyond 5. It seems happy to do that.) If so, what’s the best procedure for this? For whatever it’s worth, after slightly under 2,000 miles since the dealer change the oil, it’s still clear, though ever so slightly darker than the first time I drove the car, about 1800 miles ago.

As an aside, for anyone interested, I got 36 mpg from Boston to Quakertown, PA, 34 from Quakertown PA to northern Virginia, against a strong headwind, and 39 driving home from NoVA, including a brief traffic jam on America’s Main STreet (the New Jersey tpk), and a drive through Manhattan, with a 70-plus mph average on the highway.

Best, –David

Sajeev answers:

First, I gotta compliment your machine’s inherent beauty, compared to the 2012 I sampled recently. Second, gender stereotypes? That’s just begging to be 100% wrong. Come on, son…welcome to the current millenia!

Let’s be clear on one point: the Civic (@35k) is already broken in, it’s too late for that.  6750 on the tach’s been your friend since you drove it off the lot!

Now let’s look at the logical extension of this question: what about a “warm up” procedure before twistin’ the Civic up to redline? Everyone has an opinion on the matter, and since TTAC readers seem to like my opinions, here goes:

1. Unless we are in below zero degree weather, there’s nothing wrong with immediately driving a vehicle after the initial cold start.  Quickly move off the lot, but don’t move fast. Idle time is serious engine wear time: slowly circulating cold oil is a no-no, you want oil temperature up to spec ASAP.  In a safe manner!

2. Do NOT rev it to red line until the temperature gauge is up to its normal place (whatever that is) for about a minute or so.  Oil takes a little longer to get to temperature than engine coolant, and since many vehicles don’t show oil temp, just hang around for a while as the oil plays catch up to the coolant. Accelerate modestly, taking full advantage of the engine’s torque peak at this time.  Google wasn’t helping me, but I expect the torque peak on a Civic LX is around 4000 rpm.  So keep the motor in that general area while accelerating, or lower: traffic conditions determines this, obviously.

The insane high torque peak of some cars (Scion FR-S and even the 3.6L DI Cadillacs, to a lesser extent) give me serious pause on my advice, but whatever.  No theory is perfect.

3. Once the motor’s lived at normal coolant operating temperature for “a while”, your only worry is the rev-limiter: try not to hit it.  So now you can just go right ahead and beat the living shit out of that little motor. 

Have fun!

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

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