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Thread: Idling before setting off, wtfz?

  
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    AliMilne's Avatar
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    Idling before setting off, wtfz?

    Ok so it's the cold winter months and i know that a lot of you (my whole family does it) probably start your engines about 5 mins before you set off in order to get some warm air flowing. Plus i always thought this was good for the engine to get some oil going and getting it a bit warmer.

    However i was just flicking through my astra care and maintenance book thing that came with the car and it says a couple of times.

    "Do not let your engine idle to warm it up, always drive off as soon as possible and allow the engine to warm by travelling at a moderate speed for the first part of the journey"

    Or words to that effect. I mean yeah idling the car uses a little bit of fuel before you're even moving but i'd have thought it would only be like 20ps worth or something. Anyone able shed any light on this?

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    Oil pressure will be lowish on idle, so increaing engine wear. Driving off straight away will increase oil pressure, getting the oil around your engine quicker.

    Letting your car idle to get some warm air into the cabin isn't a hanging offence though, I was out at 6am yesterday and I did the same to mine.

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    They say don't idle because your valve train is under much higher loading at idle, than it is at higher revs. So high engine loading, coupled with lack of oil (as it's all ran to the sump over night), and what oil there is is cold (thicker), coupled to that your engine is cold so the parts don't fit together as well as they do when they are warmed up - all of which are will increase wear rates.

    So get in start up and drive off as soon as you can - the oil will get round faster and the engine will get warmed up quicker

    For any one who doesn't believe the high engine loading bit - get two engines and fit new cams to both. Start them both up and leave one to idle and run one at around 2-2.5 K revs. Which one will be knackered after a few hundred miles?

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