Warming Engine under load in cold weather

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Jul 17, 2003
New York
I live about .8 miles away from the entrance to the highway. In the mornings (anywhere this month from 0F-20F), I usually start the car, let it warm up for about 30 seconds or so , and then just slowly drive till I get to the highway.

When it's 0 degrees F, I usually give it a minute or 2 sitting at neutral to let the tranny fluids flow too. Between my house and the entrance to the highway, I'm usually stopped at 2 stoplights and it does add that extra coupla of minutes of idle warmup.

Been reading some past threads, and I'm not sure if this is *warm enough* for the engine to get on the highway. I'm usually keeping the car around 2K RPM but I am maintaning a speed of around 60mph by the time I hit the highway.........Is this a good thing or not?

The next entrance from my house is 3.5 miles but with the local morning commuter traffic to that entrance....as they say in Brooklyn - fuggedaboutit.
Fuggedaboutit! What you're doing is just fine.

My folks drive 0.1 mi before jumping on the highway and their cars have no problems, even with super long OCIs... synthetic oil flows great in cold weather.

Even with dino oil, just drive gently until the engine is up to temp..

My personal rule is to keep the rpm under half the redline. So if the car redlines at 6,000 rpm, keep it below 3,000 while the engine is cold... fuggedaboutit!

Hey wise guy, u talkin' to me?!
Driving a longer distance before hitting the parkway would be better, but we have to be practical. I have the same problem, but it's not so cold here (35 F.). In reality, I don't think the longer warmup will make much difference.
I see that here ALL the time:

Some wisea** pulls onto the highway at -30, then goes puttputtputtputtputtputtputt at 50-60 km/h until the car is good and warm.

In the meantime, you have a line of cars and heavy trucks backed up. It can and DOES cause accidents when some impatient soul veers out to pass and causes a nasty head-on.

I have to drive down 5 km of gravel sideroad to the highway, with a posted 50 km/h speed thanks to all the sharp curves. So by the time I get to the highway, it's good to go. I hump it to quickly get to highway speeds.

If it bothers you, let it warm up for 3 minutes or so, then you should be good to go. Are we talking normal commuter speeds or +70 MPH??

Well you are the perfect person for the 0W-xx oil. The thinner the better in this application. I'd agree give it a few extra minutes to warm up and drive the rate you need to stay alive. Doesn't help much to get an extra 25K miles out of the engine if you get rammed.
I've got the best of both worlds: I use the Mobil 1 0W-30 in winter, and I have to drive down 5km / 3mi of gravel sideroad at a posted 50 km/h / 30 MPH speed.

So when I get to the highway, it's fully warmed up and the drivetrain is fully lubricated. I'm not scared to hump it to quickly reach highway speeds.

But you're right: you get rear ended and so what if you're babying that poor motor? It's off to the boneyard anyway. If you're lucky, you walk away with minor scratches and bruises.

Actually....I'm usually the faster guy on the parkway. Posted speeds are 50 MPH. By the time I get on the ramp and merge in, I'm going at whatever the "left lane" is going at which is usually around 60-65 mph.
My winters aren't severe, but I pull right out of my driveway into 60mph traffic that I can't even see coming because a curve blocks my view. So I frequently have to accelerate hard on a cold engine then go uphill! I cringe evertime I do this, but I don't idle my car warm. UOAs seem to tell me I doing the right thing by this.
I drive two slow blocks to get a cup of coffee. I leave my car running while I run in. When I come out, the temp gauge is starting to lift off the peg. I then have 1 mile at 40 MPH to the on-ramp, which I normally take at WOT. By the time I am in the left lane, she is fully warm.

However, leaving work is a different story. No garage, no coffee stop.
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