Starting cars on cold mornings

  Colin 11:57 19 Nov 2006

Now that winter is starting to make its presence felt, I have again noticed that people seem to think that it is necessary to rev the engine to death before they drive off. Apart from being very annoying, they mustn’t also realise that it can harm the engine. Good advice is to drive off within 20 seconds of starting a cold engine. The same applies to having a jump start. Again they feel it necessary to rev the engine like mad. Why? It must be the equivalent to being woken up by having a bucket of freezing water thrown over you to wake you up from a deep sleep and then doing 2 circuits of a gym! Mr Diesel Transit van in our road is a great example of this. Rant over!

  spuds 12:42 19 Nov 2006

Pre winter service, and a good battery usually doe's the trick ;o)

  WhiteTruckMan 12:56 19 Nov 2006

look at how long it takes for your oil light to go off. especially on older engines. then think that all that means is the the oil pump has achieved minimum pressure to activate (turn off, actually) the warning sensor just after the pump, and the oil still has to find its way around the -so far-unlubricated engine. I find a good way is to start and leave idling while I put on/adjust my seatbelt, and make sure passengers are belted up. this gives time for the oil to circulate.

But shutting down can be just as bad, especially with the large number of turbodiesels around today. some people insist for no reason I can fathom to give the throttle a blip and then shut off at peak revs. this means that the engine driven oil pump shuts down leaving the turbocharger spinning at up to 100,000 + rpm (you think I'm kidding?) with no lubrication to the bearings.



  €dstowe 13:20 19 Nov 2006

I keep my car in a garage and only very rarely have problems starting it in cold weather.

I am amazed at the number of people who fill their garages with useless (ergo: valueless) junk and allow their car which must have cost them some money to be left outside waiting to be frozen, stolen, vandalised - any of these things causing great inconvenience.

  De Marcus™ 13:26 19 Nov 2006

Perhaps it's condensation on the inside which requires a nice warm engine to blow hot air onto the windscreen to clear it before it's safe to drive.

  bremner 13:37 19 Nov 2006


It annoys me considerably to see the idiots who drive off on such mornings with little or no visibility because they can't be bothered to wait 5 minutes for the heater to warm up and clear the screen.

  Forum Editor 13:47 19 Nov 2006

goes out onto his driveway on a frosty morning, starts his Jaguar, places a brick on the accelerator, and goes back in to have breakfast. The poor car sits there, revving itself to death, until he's finished his Meusli.

I once told him it wasn't necessary, and would harm the engine, to which his reply was 'so what?'

  HondaMan 13:48 19 Nov 2006

live outside. I have a large garage, but unless I need to work on them, its outside all year round. Having said that, they are dealer serviced as specified and any faults put right as they arise. The result? Total reliability all year round and no accumulated water or condensation to assist rust. An old panel beater told me once that garages are rust's best friend, unless they are centrally heated AND the car is dried after EVERY trip before putting it into the garage where moisture and condensation would otherwise wreak their vengeance. By leaving them outside the wind blows the water out of those little places where a cloth cannot reach.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:55 19 Nov 2006

"Good advice is to drive off within 20 seconds of starting a cold engine."

I prefer to start the engine, switch on demisters, set the heater controls, scrape the side windows and mirrors, sit in car use wipers to clear remmnents off front and rear windows, sort out the days CDs, check I've loaded everything I need for the day (nip back in to get what i've forgot)and fasten seat belt.

By then I can see clearly before driving off and the poor old engine stands a chance.

In winter get up 20 minutes earlier to do theabove and remember to drive slower as road conditions will be worse and you need to cater for the idiots that have scraped a hole the size of a 10p piece to see through.

  WhiteTruckMan 13:57 19 Nov 2006

which is why aircraft live outside instead of in hangers-unless they are seriously pampered 'hanger queens'. Corrosion on an aircraft is a damn sight more serios than a car.

(nb. exceptions to this can be found in coastal areas where salt corrosion is seriosly bad news. also, never buy a car from a seaside town)


  De Marcus™ 14:18 19 Nov 2006

I'm quite happy for mine to sit there idly whilst it warms up, the radio and 5-10 minutes peace are great!

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