Someone Explain this Winter idle (Searched)

Messages
70
Location
Maine
Since Ive heard about how your not supposed to Idle the car in the winter, Its not making complete Sense. If someone could please List the Reasons your not supposed to Idle your Car in the Winter. And If theres different reasons for Storing a Car, or For a Daily Driver, please note that. I just want to know, so that I have info to back up this claim when I tell someone. Thanks Guys
 

Al

Messages
19,167
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
Idling especially at startup is not good period. The main reason is that you are not getting your engine up to operating temperatures. Along this goes increased condensation and fuel dilution and the oil is not hot enough to evaporate them off which causes increased corrosion and wear. Even a very small amount of water in oil causes huge amounts of wear. As far as laying a car up-Fuel tank full, with gas stabilizer. Don't periodically start the car up for just a few minutes to charge the battery, Best to actually get it up to operating temperatures. Its also good to have fresh oil in there.
 
Messages
1,908
Location
Fort Worth, TX
Prolonged idle at any time of the year is to be avoided, whether the car is cold or hot. The oil pressure is at its lowest and the bearings have the least amount of protection. Compounding that problem is the proliferation of combustion byproducts at start-up (cold weather only prolongs the period until warm-up), oil still has to get to at least 180F, preferably over 200F before the byproduct percentage is reduced. Some of these byproducts include hydrochloric acid and other nasties that take their toll over time. While EFI has helped immensely in controlling the amount of unburned fuel in the motor oil, still, an appropriate period of slow driving the first few miles until the coolant, the oil, the trans/pwr steer/rear axle/suspension/steering/wheel bearing grease can warm up is recommended. Personally, I'd never start a car and just let it run. Take it out and drive it 30-50 miles and then put it away. Warm-up is simply the point where the contaminants BEGIN to reduce. One must drive the vehicle far enough to overcome the imbalance brought on by cold start.
 

PontTransAm1978

Thread starter
Messages
70
Location
Maine
Ok So, I want to do this in the Form of a list. 1. When you Idle your Car, your not getting it up to Operating Temperatures. So, the Fuel is Diluting the Oil and there is increased condensation in the Engine. Because the oil is not heated up yet, it cant evaporate them off. 2. When Idling, you have the lowest Oil Pressure, which means that bearings in the engine are not getting the protection they need. Also, low pressure is going to make it even harder to move the cold oil 3. Just letting the engine Warm up, does nothing for the rest of the car. I.E., Transmission, Differentials, Transfer Cases (if you have one), ect.. The rest of the fluids are still cold. So, driving normally with a warm engine, and cold fluids other wise is bad. Someone tell me, how is there condensation inside the engine?, and how is the Fuel Diluting the oil? [ January 18, 2003, 03:00 PM: Message edited by: PontTransAm1978 ]
 
Messages
38
Location
PA, USA
Diferent opinions for different cars.In my VWs, i let it idle for a couple of minutes, and then drive away slowly. VWs have 90 psi pressure at startup, so waiting few minutes for the pressure to drop isn't a bad idea especially if running an external oil cooler.
 
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3,321
Location
Bolivia
Condensation is a by-product of combustion. It passed the rings and gets in the oil. When the oil gets to normal operating temp (100 C) it evaporates. Fuel is not totally burned when engine temperatures are low. So the unburned fuel goes past the rings and dilutes the oil. I've seen up to 22% fuel dilution in oil analisis (inyector problems). I have a Russian made jeep that will not move until the engine is hot so it idles every day (ambient temperature 20C to 40C). The oil always has 1 to 2% gasoline.
 
Messages
4,805
Location
Lakeville, MN
We had a debate on warmup habits on another forum for Ford Trucks. It was pretty funny because almost everyone who lived in a northern climate lived by the start it, let the idle stabilize, and then take off easily, generally within about 30 seconds or so of startup. The guys from down south were the ones who couldn't believe that and were starting up and letting their engines warm for 5-10 minutes! In any event, on 98 and up F-series trucks, you can use the odometer to read certain sensor information, including coolant temps. A few experiments were run, and under similar temperatures, its was found that sitting and idling generally took about 25-75% longer to bring the coolant up to temp idling rather than driving it, depending on the outside tempertures. Condensation will appear in the oil as a result of combustion byproducts. Remember that combustion in its purest form produces carbon dioxide and water. Its this water than will end up in the oil, and if it nevers warms up enough to evaporate it out of the oil, it will accumulate in oil and cause wear and corrosiom. Diesel trucks often have a idle stepper to increase the idle when they will be sitting idling for a long time under cooler conditions. This keeps the oil warmer so that fuel and water are evaporated off so they don't accumulate in the oil. [ January 18, 2003, 05:07 PM: Message edited by: MNgopher ]
 
Messages
238
Location
Girard, Ill
quote:
Originally posted by Al: Idling especially at startup is not good period. The main reason is that you are not getting your engine up to operating temperatures. Along this goes increased condensation and fuel dilution and the oil is not hot enough to evaporate them off which causes increased corrosion and wear. Even a very small amount of water in oil causes huge amounts of wear. As far as laying a car up-Fuel tank full, with gas stabilizer. Don't periodically start the car up for just a few minutes to charge the battery, Best to actually get it up to operating temperatures. Its also good to have fresh oil in there.
Could you start the engine and let it run for a half hour which should get the engine to operating temp ? [without driving it] I have a new vette and will not drive it all winter because of the salt on the road. My car dealer says I should start it once a month so the battery will not go dead and erase all the electronic functions on my vette.
 
Messages
3,593
Location
Outside smalltown, IL
I live in a colder winter climate and when it's below 20 or so I often allow my vehicle to run 5-10 minutes before I take off in the morning. I've got a 20-30 minute drive to work after the warmup. I guess I don't see what harm I can be causing...
 

Al

Messages
19,167
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
quote:
Originally posted by yankees1:
quote:
Originally posted by Al: Idling especially at startup is not good period. The main reason is that you are not getting your engine up to operating temperatures. Along this goes increased condensation and fuel dilution and the oil is not hot enough to evaporate them off which causes increased corrosion and wear. Even a very small amount of water in oil causes huge amounts of wear. As far as laying a car up-Fuel tank full, with gas stabilizer. Don't periodically start the car up for just a few minutes to charge the battery, Best to actually get it up to operating temperatures. Its also good to have fresh oil in there.
Could you start the engine and let it run for a half hour which should get the engine to operating temp ? [without driving it] I have a new vette and will not drive it all winter because of the salt on the road. My car dealer says I should start it once a month so the battery will not go dead and erase all the electronic functions on my vette.

The problem as TheTanSedan said-when you idle-nasty things which are normally burned away more thoroughly will form up until you get up to that point. I honestly don't know to what degree this is harmful-but I personally try to avoid it. The other thing is that unless the vehicle is under some load there will not be enough heat to thoroughly heat up the exhaust system which can lead to corrosion there. Again-I really can't say what the consequences are. BTW a very inexpensive morotcycle/trickle charger will take care of the battery. jsharp-this will occurr to you every morning and that probbly is not a particularly good thing.
 
Messages
69
Location
collierville, TN
ok so with all this no-idle-warmup talk what would be the best method to get going in the morning? My driving is mainly city so i guess i need to do this right since its more significant for me. Also what is considered cold? I personally think 35F is cold but i live outside memphis. I usually start up my jeep about 5 minutes before i leave and click on the defrost so i get to leave all clear... I have 40-42psi at this point as well.
 
Messages
3,593
Location
Outside smalltown, IL
quote:
Originally posted by Al: jsharp-this will occurr to you every morning and that probbly is not a particularly good thing.
I always assumed my 20-30 minute drive after the short warmup would take care of any problems since everything will be 100% up to temp by the end of the drive. It sounds like you're saying maybe not...
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
No matter how cold it is here I never let the car idle more than a minute. 99% of the time I just start it and go within 10 seconds. The only time I might let it go for 30-40 seconds would be like the other morning when it was 0F. One thing I have been worried about is my weekend habits with my car. Because we live in a townhouse with only one garage spot and one driveway spot, on the weekends we have to shuffle the cars around so that we can take the Honda when we go out with the baby (there is no baby seat in the Firebird) So in the mornings I usually take my Firebird out to run some errands, and then when I get home I put it in visitor's parking, so that when we go out with the Honda, I don't have to move the car. But later on in the evening I end up having to move the Firebird back into the driveway, since we can't park overnight in visitor's parking or it's a $40 ticket (half a case of Schaeffer oil for me!) So if you're still reading this long winded story, here is my dilemma. When I move the Firebird back into the driveway, the engine is stone cold, and I only end up driving it about 200ft to move it into the driveway again. The engine is only being run for about a minute tops. I'm wondering if during this time enough moisture forms in the oil to then cause troubles overnight with the car sitting in the driveway. Or is the short one minute running time not long enough to do any harm? Maybe it's this practice which caused my higher iron content on my last two analysis reports?
 
Messages
3,593
Location
Outside smalltown, IL
quote:
Originally posted by Patman: No matter how cold it is here I never let the car idle more than a minute. 99% of the time I just start it and go within 10 seconds. The only time I might let it go for 30-40 seconds would be like the other morning when it was 0F.
I think I need to retrofit some Toyota seat heaters in mine... [Big Grin]
 

Al

Messages
19,167
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
quote:
Originally posted by Patman: The engine is only being run for about a minute tops.
[Eek!] [Eek!] [Eek!] How about moving the baby seat to the Firebird. [stretch] Don't tell me how hard it is I have 3 grandkids [Wink]
 
Messages
60
Location
RAPID CITY, SD.
The baby's car seat should not be left out in the cold vehicle anyways. You are going to make the baby get sick from putting her/him into a frozen car seat. Not a good move. Take car seat into home with you. What more important? Your kid or your time saved not moving the car seat?
 
Messages
1,871
Location
.
Exactly how long do you think an engine will last pre-heating it?My '89 Ford has 189K+ miles on it.It has always been pre-heated in the winter.I own my vehicles,they don't own me. It is more comfortable for me to get in a warm vehicle than a cold one.If analysis says you have abnormal wear or another condition,change either your oil change interval or your driving habits.My trucks are ready to roll when I leave the driveway. Mark BTW,I'm a 3K changer. Like Ralph says,if you don't run a bypass filter>>>>>>you're really not filtering.I don't run a bypass filter,YET! [ January 18, 2003, 10:27 PM: Message edited by: rugerman1 ]
 

PontTransAm1978

Thread starter
Messages
70
Location
Maine
See... I dont think that alot of people know about how your not supposed to Idle your car. And we all know that Toyotas last for a wicked long time, especially the 4cyl. And Im sure that these people that have these engines that last for a long time, pre heat their cars, and they didnt seem to have any problems. But, I usually dont go out and let my car warm up in the first place, so its not a big deal for me.
 

PontTransAm1978

Thread starter
Messages
70
Location
Maine
Ok, so this is what Ive assembled for a list, according to you guys. Here are some reasons your Shouldnt Idle your car when its cold. 1. Condensation is a by-product of combustion. It passes the rings and gets in the oil. When the oil gets to normal operating temp (100 C) it evaporates. Fuel is not totally burned when engine temperatures are low. So the unburned fuel goes past the rings and dilutes the oil. 2. Condensation will appear in the oil as a result of combustion byproducts. Remember that combustion in its purest form produces carbon dioxide and water. Its this water that will end up in the oil, and if it never warms up enough to evaporate it out of the oil, it will accumulate in oil and cause wear and corrosion. 3. Unless the vehicle is under some load there will not be enough heat to thoroughly heat up the exhaust system which can lead to corrosion there. 4. When Idling, you have the lowest Oil Pressure, which means that bearings in the engine are not getting the protection they need. Also, low pressure is going to make it even harder to move the cold oil 5. Just letting the engine Warm up, does nothing for the rest of the car. I.E., Transmission, Differentials, Transfer Cases (if you have one), ect.. The rest of the fluids are still cold. So, driving normally with a warm engine, and cold fluids other wise is bad. ANything else you guys think I should add to that? And BTW, thanks a bunch for this Info [ January 18, 2003, 11:39 PM: Message edited by: PontTransAm1978 ]
 

PontTransAm1978

Thread starter
Messages
70
Location
Maine
bump [Roll Eyes] Note: my last post repeats information twice. [Duh!] Just ignore the first 2 lines of #1. [Big Grin] [ January 19, 2003, 01:25 AM: Message edited by: PontTransAm1978 ]
 
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