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Warming up in the cold
My office is situated just off a motorway junction & as the cars exit our car park there is a 4 mile stretch of flat straight motorway.
What puzzles me is how many people just seem to power away down the road with a stone cold engine. I know that modern engines are much more sturdy, but even so when setting off with a cold engine I keep the revs low until the temp gauge moves into normal operating temperature & I can then give it some welly.
Do modern cars not really require a gentle warm up?
It's never a good idea to thrash your car from cold...Even modern engine oil should be allowed to heat up a bit first.
I tend to allow the car to warm up before I drive off.
Not a good idea - the low revs mean low pressure to the top end. Better to drive off gently and keep the revs up a bit, but light on the throttle so the bores don't get hammered.
For most low mileage drivers who change their cars say every three years or so engine damage is irrelevant as they will never have the car long enough to be bothered as to if the engine is damaged or not.
Then there is the company car driver always in a hurry to be somewhere or other. It is very rarely that he will have the same car more than three years.
The people who will suffer are those who always buy second hand as it is by then that careless driving will show up in bigger repair bills.
Most people are completely ignorant of engineering things. Start the engine and go is as far as they think. The only time they give any thought to the engine is when it doesn't start... and even then the only thought is how inconvenienced they are.
Years ago people would buy a car intending to keep it for several years. There was a very good chance that they would do a lot of the maintenance themselves. So they knew just how damaging thrashing a car when cold could be. Buying a car was a bigger investment than it is now so a car would be kept for longer than most are kept today and so had to be looked after and driven very carefully.
Many cars today are company cars and even private motorists will change their car every three years or so. There is not the incentive to look after a car as there used to be.
The unfortunate people who suffer the most are those who buy a used car as it is by then that most of the damage of bad driving has been done.
I recall a few years ago reading that cars delivered by a driver were frequently hammered up a motorway (in the days of "running-in") so there was little point in the new owner diligently obeying the instructions for running-in.Modern oils mean that the engine doesnt suffer too badly from cold running,although hammering it when cold WILL increase wear & tear on its components.A four mile journey isnt going to stress an engine unduly either.
My car is 3 1/2 years old turbo diesel, it dont even have a temperature gauge. It gets serviced every 20,000 miles (had 2 so far). I dont really let the car heat up before rev it out. Most car engines are set to work between 80 - 90% of what they can actually do so the chances of engine damage due to "thrashing it" are very low. You do get some people however who have "chipped" or "remapped" their engine to push the engine output to 100% of what it can do, they are the people who end up with a knakered engine after 50,000 miles, they dont tell you about that on the advertisments however :).
In the owners manual of my Vx Astra it says that for the first 600 miles the engine should not be laboured in any gear, 'thrashed', taken consistently over a certain rev limit....looks like Vauxhalls still need running in.
I always drive away immediately as it will waste petrol ticking over for too long and always take it steady to start with, but like the poster above, modern vx Astra's don't come with a temerature gauge. I paid a chunk of my savings for my car, so I will do everything to protect it, even if I end up over-protecting it.
In the old days it was a case of running in any vehicle especially motor car's very carefully.
Then motorways , vehicle rental, lease hire and company vehicles came into being ;O)
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