Originally Posted by lightninrod
May I offer a word of caution? I understand the appeal of a remote starter when winter hits hard but if you use it and then leave your car's engine idling for a long time(over 3-5 minutes is "long" for this), you will be damaging the engine's internals. Modern vehicles do not need a "warm-up" period like they did when equipped with carburetors. All vehicles use computer-controlled fuel injection systems now and the computer will keep the engine from "dieing" when still cold. With the engine idling, no other parts of the vehicle are warming up and they need to too.
I do not want to argue because that is not my intention. But how do engine internals themselves fail with idling at, say, 800-1000 rpm yet are under no real stress when cruising along at 2000-2500rpm?
The parts about carbureted engines dying when cold is often the result of an improperly adjusted choke. I had carbed cars with both hot air and electric chokes. They never died when in tune.
The best way to keep the engine sound internally is to start it up and as soon as you can, drive off............slowly, allowing all the vehicle's components(transmission, tires, brakes, axles, suspension bearings, steering, etc.) to warm up at the same time. Doing this allows for the overall vehicle to acclimate to the ambient temperature.
My car is a 2005 model and my previous car was a 1998. Both were manual transmission cars. The hydraulic clutch was very sluggish until well warmed up. 2-3 minutes was NOT sufficient. After just 2-3 minutes, the clutch was still sluggish enough that if I "sidestepped" the clutch, it would slowly engage and the shift was still smooth.
Yes, I know the heater won't be pushing out warm air at first but it won't take but a few miles for that to happen. If the engine is all that is warmed up and you get in and take off too rapidly, the other components will suffer excessive, premature wear......................
Sometimes there is but no choice than to let the car warm up for extended periods of time. If a vehicle has been outside in an ice storm, you are not going anywhere until the ice has melted...period. No amount of scraping will help.
On cold days, no heater will warm up to full temperature in a matter of minutes. The cooling system capacities are smaller than cars of, say, 10-20 years ago. Also, with four cylinders being common, you have fewer cylinders firing to warm up the coolant. When I leave my driveway after only 30 seconds of engine operation, it takes more than a few miles until my heater is pumping out toasty warm air. And my cooling system is functioning normally.
Btw Dan, when do you consider a car fully warmed up? My definition of fully warmed up is when the coolant reaches the temperature required to open the thermostat. And with the vast majority of engines having 195F thermostats, it takes more than a few minutes to reach that temperature.
Now mind you Dan, I DO NOT advocate letting the engine run for the sake of running. With gas being so costly, it is a senseless waste of money to let a car warm up. And I will not warm up my car unless there is a decent accumulation of ice on my windows. But for those specific times, not much else one can do other than warm up the engine.
Once again, not trying to argue. Just state my opinions and whatnot.