Up next in our 'Ask The Expert' series, we explore the best way to warm up your engine from cold.
Is it better to let a cold engine warm up by letting it idle for five minutes or drive it carefully til it reaches operating temperature ? My Classic is an Alfa Romeo Montreal. - John Gizzi
To answer this, we got in touch with Ged Bermingham from Body & Soul Autoworks based in Cardiff.
“It's previously been thought best to let your oil get to temperature first and get it to circulate, by idling the vehicle for 5-10 minutes before driving. But that no longer holds true as modern oils (and even 'classic' equivalents) have superior blends and technology, such as anti-wear agents and viscosity improvers that:
a) leave a coating - meaning you're not grinding dry metal together prior to the oil pressure building up and
b) aren't as prone to waxing and being unable to circulate properly until warm.
Most conventional wisdom on this was written long before technology moved on.
I believe that it’s better to go with some careful driving rather than sit with it idling, as the richer running also can cause a number of issues including bore-wash, fouled plugs and even bore-score on certain engines. Those suffering the latter tend to be angled engines, i.e. flat 4 or 6 or slant 6 types. This is what I do with my own cars.”
If you have a question you'd like to put to an expert, let us know!
Visit our Ask An Expert page and complete the form to submit your question.
The information contained in this blog post is based on sources that we believe are reliable and should be understood as general information only. It is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any specific or individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such.