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Best way to heat these cars in really cold weather.

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Old 02-03-2014, 04:10 AM   #1
iamzatch
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Default Best way to heat these cars in really cold weather.

I work nights and we are about to see single digit below zero temperatures here in Colorado the next few days. I am curious when it is acceptable to begin driving when it is that cold out?

Lately I've been starting the car, and holding the RPMs at whatever RPM it starts at (usually between 1500-2000) until I see the heat gauge start to creep up then I just drive normally not going over 3K RPM until I get to a good temp.

Sound decent enough? Or is holding the tac at 2K RPM for 5 minutes doing un-needed damage/waste of gas?
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:23 AM   #2
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start the car, and as long as the oil gauge registers pressure just start driving it gently. that'll warm it up faster than just sitting there doing nothing. you want the engine to warm up as quickly as possible.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:46 AM   #3
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At least wait for the engine to drop off the fast idle before driving off, drive gently until you can feel some heat coming out of the vents, and have the temperature needle movement indicating at least midway to fully warmed up before driving at highway speed.

No matter how warm you let your engine get up to by sitting there idling, none of your car's other lubes will be warmed up the same amount (or at all). Think transmission, rear axle, wheel bearings.


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Old 02-03-2014, 08:51 AM   #4
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Again, Norm is right on!
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norm Peterson View Post
At least wait for the engine to drop off the fast idle before driving off, drive gently until you can feel some heat coming out of the vents, and have the temperature needle movement indicating at least midway to fully warmed up before driving at highway speed.

No matter how warm you let your engine get up to by sitting there idling, none of your car's other lubes will be warmed up the same amount (or at all). Think transmission, rear axle, wheel bearings.


Norm
Whats wrong with driving highway speeds but just staying low on rpm? I get on the highway like 100 yards from my house so my car is never warm by then, i just always keep rpms below 2-3k until its warm and it seems to be ok as far as i can tell.

Wouldnt 2k rpm in 5th or 6th and 2k rpm in 3rd about the same in terms of stress on engine? the throttle is never above 1/4 throttle until warm

I do live in florida though, so my definition of "cold" is like 40-55*
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:25 AM   #6
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The loads on everything along the powertrain are higher (the total drag force being overcome at 60 is only a little less than 4 times the drag at 30) and the rotational speeds of everything downstream of the transmission will still be double at 60 what it is at 30.

If I were you, I'd find a 1 or 2 mile loop to drive around before hitting the highway, or get on the highway at the next closest opportunity.

As it is, I've got one "short" drive to the nearest Interstate and a couple of longer routes. On a cold day with a dead cold engine I'll always take one of the longer ways. The extra mile that the shortest "longer route" takes - about 2.3 miles vs 1.2 or so for the short one - makes a noticeable difference.


FWIW, I grew up in New England where temperatures in the minus single digit and occasionally minus teens were not unheard of, and the morning commute with my Dad started at 5:30-ish.


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Old 02-03-2014, 06:04 PM   #7
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As of late we have been getting extremely cold here. I myself start it not so much as for the car but me.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:45 PM   #8
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Except in CO where puffing is legal.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:59 PM   #9
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It has been nasty cold here in Tennessee too. My Pony, like its driver, makes funny noises when it gets in the low 20s. Last week, I assume the emergency brake cable froze, because the emergency brakes wouldn't disengage. Honestly, it is too cold to crawl underneath to see what the issue is, but on the plus side, once it warms up I won't have the problem. I decided that below 25, I am driving the truck -- it is better insulated than the convertible and the heater works much better too.
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveDwsn View Post
... Last week, I assume the emergency brake cable froze, because the emergency brakes wouldn't disengage. Honestly, it is too cold to crawl underneath to see what the issue is...
The TSB for the e-brake cable will tell you what it is... oh, wait. I just did.

Start the engine, put on your seat belt, make sure your mirrors are good and start driving gently. Sitting at idle wastes gas and, as Norm stated, doesn't allow the drive train and other components to begin to warm up. And certainly DO NOT hold the engine idle above what an in-working-order idle system keeps the engine speed at.
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