Boiling over about warming up one's Car

I suppose any topic can be contentious.

I can relate -- at my age, it's best for me to warm up for a few minutes before I go outside, too! :slight_smile:

This my situation as well. One of my concerns at this high mileage stage of life is that after the engine is turned off for the night, this old geezer may not start up the next morning, and then be towed to the RIP place for cars, the wrecking yard. I suppose this would be better than throwing a connecting rod or sending a valve through a piston and thus clanking and sputtering to a painful to a inevitable stop. That would be maddening.

I've educated myself quite a bit on cars but even without that knowledge, I find that article very poorly written.

As is more often the case than not, the Washington Post provides good journalism on the topic:

I agree that the article in question is just quotidian speculation stuff, and the WP articles are a bit more authoritative. Yet most popular articles and recommendations on such car matters are by necessity over simplified. If one really wants to find the answers to such questions, one must have a good grasp of material science, physics, chemistry and more, for this is what is required to understand the working of cars and is what the rule of thumb answers that these articles provide are derived from. If one does a little research on Motor oil, for example, the complexity of the questions about it becomes readily apparent. That said, automakers have known for some time that arguably 80+ percent of engine wear on a car's engine engine occurs on cold start ups, a number that has decreased as our knowledge of the science of lubrication has increased. So, is the energy(money) spent on idling greater than, equal to, or less than life decreasing wear on the engine and associated costs?

The energy spent on idling is more than the effect of wear so long as you don't go berserk with the right pedal.

Cars are rarely taken out of service because of engine wear issues. Accidents, rust, poor maintenance, uneconomical repairs are the main reasons. Plenty of people just drive normally after they start their cars regardless of the weather and at those points, the engine is not at the ideal operating temperature. Nothing comes of it because the design, testing and programming has been done to manage that as well as improvements in oil specifications and testing.

If there were a big issue with how much throttle is used at certain temperatures, the manufacturers would have or already have put that into the programming because otherwise they would have more warranty issues as well as satisfaction issues and reliability reputation concerns outside of warranty.

That is to say that the manufacturers know a hell of a lot about the performance and longevity of their vehicles in extreme cold and extreme heat conditions, derived from decades of experience as well as engineering excellence, and consequently they provide appropriate rule of thumbs for the most important considerations for vehicle maintenance.

So the first place I would look for advice on cold start idling and initial driving would be the manufacturer's owner's manual and maybe the Canadian, Scandinavian, Russian, German editions!

Sounds like you need manuals for an Intermeccanica, a Volvo, a Lada, and your choice of BMW or Mercedes for your investigation, along with a highly fluent, multilingual interpreter. Good luck, Lycka till, Удачи, and Viel Glück to you! :slight_smile:

Thank you Logan and Diedrich_Duo. I agree with what Logan has posted and with what Diedrich_Duo has said about translations. But I must say that Logan's mention of engineering excellence and other car notions did not seem to apply to the "Yugo" I once put 150,000 miles on. But that was probably just a odd exception to the rule. I could not make heads or tails out of that Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian, and Macedonian owner's manual.

Wow -- if you got 150,000 miles from a Yugo, you might qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records (or Ripley's Believe It Or Not)! Did you warm it up before you drove off each day?

Seriously, I always wonder if the reduction in gas mileage, the exhaust fumes emitted, and the environmental impact (not to mention the noise factor for the neighbors) resulting from long warmup times is really worth the difference in most vehicles' longevity. This is probably one of those questions that will be debated for as long as we have internal combustion engines powering our vehicles.

Well, about 147,000 was the actual mileage, at which point it would no longer pass the smog test. It's sometimes amazing how far some bailing wire, duct tape and superglue will take you. At the time, I was driving about 25,000 miles per year, mostly freeway miles. So, one could say, I got my money's worth, in addition to a sore back. Lots of fond and not so fond memories from that machine.

Concerning the warm up issue, there are many factors to consider, but when all is said and done, any difference is probably insignificant, and we are headed towards all electric cars in the near future, anyways. If we are really that concerned about the environmental impact from warming up cars as well as other harmful effects, we should follow Norway's example and mandate that all cars be electric by 2025. I did not warm the Yugo up beyond the 30 second thing, but was just very happy that it started, and wanted to get going while the getting was good.

I am impressed, and somewhat jealous.
I never had a chance to drive a Yugo, but our family did own a Fiat 128. The Yugo was a licensed version of the Fiat 127/128, presumably minus the incredible quality control of the Italian factory. (yeah, right.........) Our Fiat did not make it to 150K, even after a body-off engine rebuild.

I was always intrigued that the Fiat 128 was so well received by critics when it was introduced, while the Yugo was so widely panned over a decade later. The Fiat was quirky, did not drive like most cars, had multiple parts that were stressed to about 90% of their breaking point under 'normal' conditions, and broke a lot. But, it was marketed to folks who enjoyed driving-- and it was fun to drive-- at a time when there were few options for small spritely front-wheel-drive vehicles in the US.

By the time the Yugo was introduced in the US, FWD designs had progressed to the point where most of them drove similarly to the cars Americans were used to, while the Yugo did not. The Yugo was marketed to people who wanted basic transportation, not driving enthusiasts, and there were plenty of more refined choices in the US market by then. (At higher cost, of course.)

So I've always wondered whether the Yugo was really 'as bad as all that' compared to the Fiat 128, or whether it was just the wrong car for the time & the market.

@KentE----"somewhat jealous" is a good choice of words. The Yugo experience for me was an example of my cheap/frugal nature. The fact, as you mention, that the engine and ,I believe, drivetrain, was Fiat made was a plus for me, although I believe these parts were older and not the latest engines, etc. that Fiat was using. I was also aware that doctors ,lawyers, and other relatively well paid people in the former Yugoslavia drove Yugos, which also gave me hope. And the fact that I had been working on cars since I was 14(I had worked part time as a mechanic at a friend's father's gas station when in HS) and could probably deal with most problems, also was a plus for me. But I do not think a Yugo would have been a good fit for someone who did not fiddle with cars, and I think this lack of "just drive and not worry" feature is what doomed the it.

Anyways, I was younger back when I had the Yugo, so the ride was good enough for me, particularly since it was driven mostly on the freeways. Yet the front driver seat structure support did break, but a few pieces of strategically placed wood fixed that. During the Yugo's almost 150,000 lifespan, I replaced the timing belt twice, the drive axle boots once, the catalytic converter once, the clutch and pressure plate once, the snapped clutch cable once(was able to make it home with a improvised use of a piece of wire), and several times had to tighten the loose jets that screw into the carburetor. Eventually, the piston rings and head valves became so worn that it would no longer pass a CA smog test. I then traded(? I almost had to pay the dealership to take it) it in on a new car. So, the fact that I only paid about $3,400 for a new Yugo that lasted me 150,000 mostly trouble free miles with decent gas mileage was a purchase that I regret little. And I'm pretty sure that those many glances from other drivers were approving in nature. Anyways, I'm still enjoying my Honda Accord with 330,000 miles on it, but I have a smog test coming this August. Sorry, this post probably contains more than you cared to or needed to know.

Isamorph, your detailed description of "mostly trouble free miles" gives me some insight into where you likely fit into the normal/abnormal scale in that other thread......:wink:
I love the details!

Good---I always like to do well on scales. I once scored really well on a personality test scale, even though there were no right or wrong answers.:unsure:

When you arrived at intersections at the same time, did they say "No, yugo first"?

Just passed 100k on one of our cars. The first time that's ever happened and I got that one used at 25k. It's taken 13 years which is a first for me by a long way in terms of years owing the same car. Circumstances always limited me to about 4 years per car before.

I always wonder how people get to 200, 300, 400 miles? How old is your Accord and what do you do to put that much mileage on it?

I have a smog test due shortly and I miss the old style test where they actually read the emissions and gave you a print out. Now they're reading off the OBD port and finding ways to charge more for the privilege. Something I'm seeing now at the stations around me is they want to charge $10 extra if the car has been directed to a Star station which is what I need now.

LOLOLOL -- you get a 5-smile rating for that one! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I dunno---it was sort of noisy in that car. Funny, though. It was a rather clownish car.

It's a 2002 VP model that I bought new for a whopping $13,800+. My wife and I used to take a lot of road trips around the USA, one being a 9,000mi. trip from southern California to Maine to Florida and back to California with many zig zags and curly cues along the way. My son used to work is the Silicon Valley so we would frequently drive almost 1,000 miles RT to see our Granddaughter, etc. Also, we spend a lot of time going to and fro an area about 100 mi. round trip from home. We've been to many Nat. Parks, etc. in the Western US, and also frequently return to the beach areas of LA where we both grew up. And just going to town everyday for recreation is 30 mi. RT. So, yeah, just a lot of travel, but not work. We've cut back somewhat in recent years.

Smog test: Yeah---the smog test costs should have gone down with the OBD port scam--I mean scan. I've had an OBD scan tool for years, and all one has to do is plug it in wait a minute and if all is green one is go. They do still have to visually check the gas cap and a few engine components, which takes little time. The OBD test is supposedly more accurate than the old testing method and has been used by other states for some time. One would think the competition would bring the price down, but it almost appears as if the plug and pay me smog people are colluding to keep prices high. Damn grease monkeys. They're almost as bad as the DMV which raised the yearly price of registration $50, $60 bucks in one year.

Drove like a garbage can