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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, it's getting chilly here in Ohio, and the moister of the air is frosting.

I work from 2:10 - 10~11 PM, and when I go to come home there is frost on the top of my focus, So I'm wondering what the best way to warm the engine up is...

Should I:

0. Let the car idle until it's out of the cold zone
1. Let the car idle a little bit, then give the motor some revs (around 2k) and let it run there until to speed up the warm up?

This question comes up because I want the car to last a good while, and I don't know what's worse, letting the car run with brittle metal at low RPMs for a long time, or to run at slightly higher RPMs putting more stress on cold brittle parts, but warming up faster an decreasing cold run time.

Note: That I don't do so much as turn on my heater or even put it on defrost until the motor is out of ice zone.

Also as a side relevant question, I use 5w-30 oil (as ford recommends) should I use different weight when it starts getting colder (such as 0w-20 like my moms civic)?

Thanks in advance.
 

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The best way to care for a car is to drive it as soon as the oil is flowing .
So start it up.. let it idle for about ten seconds and go. period.
Allowing an engine to idle for any extended period is a waste of time, gas, and is actually NOT GOOD for the engine. And revving it when cold is the WORST thing of all. Driving it is not nearly as bad.
So let the engine start itself, idle like that ten second.. fifteen seconds if it is really cold out, (not revving it) then just start driving it. no problem (if the engine is revving higher all by itself that is natural, and not a problem..)

I would offer if the temps are minus 20F .. then you could allow it to idle for a full minute before going.. LOL.
I would say over zeroF but below 20F degrees just go after thirty seconds.

As for oil use the recommended oil. So your car is 5W30.
You could go to 0W30 but do NOT switch to a xW20..
The second number is when the engine is hot and it matters.
The first number is cold, and if you use a 0W30 it will not harm your engine.
If you are not getting below zero temps.. the oil you are using is just fine.
 

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I disagree. If revving the engine under no load is bad for it cold, then how could revving it under load (driving) be any better?

Start it up and let it idle for 5-10 minutes. Once it's warm enough to generate warm comfortable air and defrost the windows, it should be warm enough to operate without concern. The temp gauge can be deceiving. Idling isn't bad for a gas motor unless it's done for hours and hours. As long as the engine is allowed to fully warm up before being shut down you have little to worry about. If you drive it immediately (and subsequently get to your destination in a lesser period of runtime) you run a HIGHER likelihood of not getting fully warmed up. Your temp gauge is pretty inaccurate as well. Just because the needle is in the middle of it's range does NOT mean the engine reached the nominal operating temperature of ~215*F.
 

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I have heard both sides of the argument. the only time I warm up the engine is if I have to clear the windows of frost or snow. otherwise I start it,let the high idle calm down some and don't drive like a maniac until the engine gets to normal temp. I have only had my f150 since it had 100,000 miles on it,and it has 200,000 miles now. I have been driving it this way since i have owned it,doesn't burn a drop of oil and no engine noises. I did the same thing to the cavalier I owned before the focus,it had 170,000 when i sold it,it ran great.
 

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I'm an idler. For a few reasons ...

1) The oil isn't going to flow. I'm still going to let my Focus idle for a bit this winter even though I'm running 0w-20.

2) The engine runs richer. I also live on hills and have to drive in city traffic. I'll wait until the fuel trim leans out a bit. Yes, the car idling is getting 0mpg, but it also uses less (IMO) , and enough so to warrant idling, accelerating in traffic warmed up a bit.

Now to counter my own argument

1) The "idling" rule where you have to wait for oil to start flowing was back in the days when people used straight 30 and 40 grade oils. Now with multigrade oils (especially 0 and 5 synthetics), the oil flows much better much sooner.

2) An engine isn't going to warm up with no load on it.
 

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I'm an idler. For a few reasons ...

1) The oil isn't going to flow. I'm still going to let my Focus idle for a bit this winter even though I'm running 0w-20.

2) The engine runs richer. I also live on hills and have to drive in city traffic. I'll wait until the fuel trim leans out a bit. Yes, the car idling is getting 0mpg, but it also uses less (IMO) , and enough so to warrant idling, accelerating in traffic warmed up a bit.

Now to counter my own argument

1) The "idling" rule where you have to wait for oil to start flowing was back in the days when people used straight 30 and 40 grade oils. Now with multigrade oils (especially 0 and 5 synthetics), the oil flows much better much sooner.

2) An engine isn't going to warm up with no load on it.
We aren't talking diesels here. If this is the case, go disconnect your cooling fan and let your engine idle for a few hours. Let me know how you make out.

Engines have thermostats for a reason. The purpose is so that the engine reaches nominal operating temp as quickly as possible. They are capable of doing this at an idle.
 

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We aren't talking diesels here. If this is the case, go disconnect your cooling fan and let your engine idle for a few hours. Let me know how you make out.

Engines have thermostats for a reason. The purpose is so that the engine reaches nominal operating temp as quickly as possible. They are capable of doing this at an idle.
Let me rephrase that - won't warm up as quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've been looking at oil viscositys and it looks like 5w-30 is fine as long as it don't get cooler then -25... (I don't think it's ever gotten that cold here!) I'll assume that is Celsius considering that the high number was to. 0w-30 would be nice, I'd assume it'd run a little better... I'll probibly look at it here soon... Don't like the sound of 0w-20 now that I understand more a little bit more about oil... Comparing my car to a civic is like comparing apples to oranges...

I think from the comments I've read I'll just idle it for a few minuets and take off, maybe even get a hair dryer to defrost my windshield while I'm waiting :)

start and go no need to waste gas read your owners manuel
I doubt idling for 10 minuets everyday for a week wastes as mach as half a gallon... And the motor runs SO much smoother when you do...
 
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