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Drivers who warm their car up on a cold morning

Discussion in 'Rants & Raves' started by benw123, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    Are you one of these people who goes outside on a cold morning, unlocks your car, starts it, and then leaves it running while you either scrape the frost off or, worse still, go back indoors to finish getting ready?

    This REALLY grates with me. The main reason being that, when you start your car and leave it running, obviously the engine will be idling. Engines warm up quickly when they're working, not idling, so it will take longer to reach operating temperature than if you simply drive away.

    Leaving it idling from cold also means that:
    • You'll be burning loads more fuel while the engine remains under the "cold start" condition, because it takes so long to reach operating temperature;
    • Petrol and diesel fuels are expensive these days. So while your car sits there, burning your fuel for nothing, you're wasting a lot of money - especially because your car will burn more fuel from cold;
    • Burning a richer fuel mixture for longer is worse for the environment. In modern cars, it means more CO2, and older, pre-catalyst cars will be spewing out plenty of nasty carbon monoxide;
    • Running an engine rich for extended periods in petrol-engined cars will add lots of soot to the spark plugs, decreasing their performance and shortening their service life;
    • Engine oil delivers its best protection when the engine is fully warm (and this is long after the coolant has reached operating temperature). Repeated lengthy idling from cold will eventually cause it to thicken into a sludge which can then block the oilways and starve internal components of lubrication;
    • Your car is at risk from easy theft. While walking to work over the winter, I wondered past a tidy X-reg 328i coupe sat at fast idle on a driveway, with no-one around. If I really wanted that car, I would even have had time to put my seat belt on.
    It's simple really. To preserve your car's health (and my future sanity) on these cold mornings, please de-ice the car first, then get in, start up and drive away!!!
    #1
  2. batwad
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    batwad Member

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    :thumbsup: Great rant dude. I defrost with warm tap water, so no idling for me!
    #2
  3. L1 HCS
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    L1 HCS Active Member

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    Ben.. I am one of those people. I start the engine, to check if the car is working, and since it is, I may as well leave it running and blast the cold air on the windows to demist the inside and while thats happening I scrape the ice off the windows with a cd case. :)
    #3
  4. motorbikez
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    motorbikez Active Member

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    Nope I just press the remote in my car and drive out of garage and away to work.
    #4
  5. L1 HCS
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    L1 HCS Active Member

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    lucky for some..:beee:
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  6. motorbikez
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    motorbikez Active Member

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    I suppose I am mate but what ammuses me round here every house has a double garage but half my neighbours leave cars on the drive as garage is full of kids bikes and general crap.I have a large shed for that stuff and like to keep car and bike secure in garage.
    #6
  7. Les 51
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    Les 51 A pint of Diesel please!

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    I have a choice... park the Audi in the garage or the Lancia. Hmm think the Lancia wins Sorry. What I can't understand is, I have owned 2 Mondeos and both had heated windscreens! Why can't Audi do that?
    It's an ingenious idea that anyone could do but as far as I know I think only Fords and Volvos do it!?
    Ming Blue Cassette tape covers work better they seem to be stiffer.
    #7
  8. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    You're right, the last four Fords I owned prior to my Sportback all had heated screens and in winter it was a boon. However, I think the reason other manufacturers don't bother is reliability; the eldest Fords I had eventually ran into problems with the elements not working, so only half the screen would defrost.

    But I'm glad most of the posts so far tend to agree with my rant! :)
    #8
  9. Les 51
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    Les 51 A pint of Diesel please!

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    interesting you say that, the last one I owned I only had for a year so can't really say on that one, but the previous one I had for nearly 8 years and never had any problems at all.
    I think what happens is if you get a chip in the screen it breaks the elements which stops that side of the screen defrosting. I do know that they made the elements as 2 parts so if you had a break only one side would work.
    #9
  10. Just Plain Old
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    Just Plain Old Active Member

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    Sorry, but if it's freezing I put the heated seats on, and warm my car up whilst I'm scraping the windows........... AND, I don't give a shit how much CO2 the 'ol 4.2 pumps out in the process,,, I love the smell of raw petrol in the morning....... sorry again!
    #10
  11. scrupes
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    scrupes bloody great extension bodger

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  12. L1 HCS
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    L1 HCS Active Member

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    :applaus::lmfao:
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  13. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yep, if you're worried about CO2 and carbon footprint rant at the feckin yanks. Our feeble efforts at saving the planet are like pissing on an oil rig fire compared to the megatonnes of crap that country spews out every day.
    But well done, I'm sure you setting off in your freezing cold Audi, with misted up windows and stone cold engine will allow some obese yank to haemorrhage gasoline from his 11 litre Dodge RAM for at least a couple of extra miles.
    #13
  14. L1 HCS
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    L1 HCS Active Member

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    :salute:
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  15. Onlyme
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    Onlyme Member

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    I can remember one neighbour starting his car every morning at 05:30 in the winter and messing about scraping the windows ect he then used to go inside and finish his cup of tea or coffee, Anyway this went on for months and months as he was a big wossy and couldnt take the cold like us true men, the rest of us even the ladys just used to walk out scrape the windows start the car and drive off, So one day one of the neighbours lost it, the wossy was doing his routine, finished scraping his windows and then went indoors to finish his tea/coffee ( by the way he knew it used to p most of the neighbours off ) so whilst this lady was indoors drinking his tea/coffee my old neighbour 6ft + and built like a brick s--t house walks outside opens the door, removes the keys and drops them down the drain and then casually walks in doors and goes back to bed, He later told everyone what he had done but the neighbour whoes keys went down the drain never did say anything, and seeming as he was a selfish ---t no one never asked him about it or told him what had happened, He never did leave his car running again on a cold winters morning, he just used to make sure he was dressed appropriately for the weather :beerchug:
    #15
  16. scrupes
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    scrupes bloody great extension bodger

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    only fair! wouldn't be so bad at 8 or 9am but 5.30!!!! I'd have killed the twa7! or at least our lass would have!
    #16
  17. auditek
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    auditek Member

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    i warm up my van in morn an go brush teeth and leave all demisted n warm, gota keep warm after bein in nice bed all nyt, and scrupes u shouldve took the beemer round the corner, parked it up, and messed with the guys head.......
    #17
  18. jcs356
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    jcs356 Brum brum

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    I'd be very wary about leaving the car running and then popping back inside to finish a cup of tea - try explaining that to an insurance company when some thieving git makes off with it - 'yes, I left it running with the keys in it'.
    #18
  19. scrupes
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    scrupes bloody great extension bodger

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    Auditek: and scrupes u shouldve took the beemer round the corner, parked it up, and messed with the guys head.......
    yeah but my luck, I'd have got caught by the fuzz and arrested for twocking it! would have been good to go rallying round the town through cameras at 10% over the speed limit! get the b'stard banned!
    #19
  20. lee s3
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    lee s3 top gear

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    when its frosted up i turn my car on, turn my heaters on full and heated seats on full, go inside for a little bit then come back out and its nice and warm inside, i always keep a eye out though just incase someone decides to try nicking it
    #20
  21. scrupes
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    scrupes bloody great extension bodger

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    a mate used to start the car with the multi-lok locking the gear lever in neutral and then lock the doors with his spare key, a good idea i thought but when i tried it the imobiliser cut the engine off! bugger, foiled by technology again!!
    #21
  22. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    Up in the frozen north, it's not uncommon to have a layer of frost on the inside of the windscreen...sadly, I'm not going to attempt to de-frost that with warm water or de-icer...so the engine gets started whilst the heated seats warm up, the engine warms up, the windows defrost etc....and I de-ice outside.

    Through choice, I'd have my cars in the garage - as I do at home - but if away from home and it's very frosty...sometimes it's just not possible to de-frost without the engine running.
    #22
  23. batwad
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    batwad Member

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    I may have dreamt this, but don't Ford have some sort of patent or something on heated front screens?
    #23
  24. Caesium
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    Caesium My BM is fixed!

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    Patents don't last forever, and my H reg Cosworth had a heated screen, so i would assume its lapsed by now!
    #24
  25. Randomjim
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    Randomjim Active Member

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    I leave mine running when it's cold and go back inside. Neighbours proberably hate it as my cars quite loud on idle but at least my cars warm.
    #25
  26. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    Won't be buying your car then. :no:
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  27. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    We all know that. But it's still your own petrol/diesel you're pi$$ing away, which hits your own pocket - nothing to do with the Yanks.
    #27
  28. Caesium
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    Caesium My BM is fixed!

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    don't warm mine up either, letting an engine idle for extended periods is not good for it, causes build ups of carbon and soot.
    #28
  29. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Originally posted by ben123
    "Burning a richer fuel mixture for longer is worse for the environment. In modern cars, it means more CO2, and older, pre-catalyst cars will be spewing out plenty of nasty carbon monoxide;"

    Your words mate, why mention it?
    Pissing away diesel/petrol? Hardly. So it costs you £1 of fuel, so what? You waste that running aircon, but I think we'd rather be comfortable than frugal.
    BTW I don't actually do this, (I'm not that organised), but I can see why people do. I have been in the situation where my windscreen starts to refreeze while driving, which is quite a worry.
    #29
  30. MikeA3
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    MikeA3 Active Member

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    I don't de-ice my A3 at all in the mornings- just walk 15 minutes to the train station :cold:

    and I must walk past about 5 cars left running with their owners nowhere to be seen - never understood why some owners just make it sooo much easier for someone to nick their car :tocktock:
    #30
  31. scrupes
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    scrupes bloody great extension bodger

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    Oh believe me, i wouldn't leave her ticking over and dare stray more that 10 ft away!!! i'm far to paranoid to do that!

    just enough time to scrape the screens clear and wipe over with anit freeze on a rag :icon_thumright:to stop the frost coming back, usually is enough time to stop my left cat from rattling anyway!
    #31
  32. smee
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    smee Member

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    On frosty mornings I start up the car, turn on the mirror and rear screen defrosters. Then scrape the side and front windows. Sometimes the insode of the windscreen takes a while to clear but I wait for that when required. Once finished I then drive off safely as all the glass is clear and I can see where I am going. Hope that does not annoy anybody.
    #32
  33. Caesium
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    Caesium My BM is fixed!

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    I never scrape my windows or put on my wipers until the screen is completely clear, it destroys the rubber otherwise.

    Scraping the windscreen can scratch it, just run your hot tap until the water is barely warm, boiling water is absolutely not necessary. Remember the frost.ice is 0 degrees or below, water at just 10 degrees (cold) will still shift it!
    I use warm water and just pour it from the top to the bottom, soon clears the screen.
    #33
  34. silver75
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    silver75 Big Ron

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    lol
    #34
  35. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    Indeed I mentioned CO2. But while cutting emissions hardly seems anyone's top priority - given how quickly other developing nations such as India and China will quickly replace anything we cut in the UK - it is nevertheless a consequence of wasting your own cash and detriment to the condition of your engine.
    #35
  36. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Exactly it's irrelevant.
    "it is nevertheless a consequence of wasting your own cash and detriment to the condition of your engine."
    And I repeat:
    Pissing away diesel/petrol? Hardly. So it costs you £1 of fuel, so what? You waste that running aircon, but I think we'd rather be comfortable than frugal.

    Detriment to your engine? Arguably, depends on what sort of journey you have ahead of you. Most people will be undertaking a stop start rush hour journey in which case the car will be idling for most of the time anyway, so little difference to idling on the drive.
    #36
  37. L1 HCS
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    L1 HCS Active Member

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    Now then where's Ess_Three? :search:
    #37
  38. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    Well, after all, it's your money and so as with so many debates on this forum, you pays your money, you makes your choice. I think though that as fuel costs continue to rise, others might think more carefully about how long they leave their car running, period.

    Also note that you'll only really use aircon when you're driving, so while indeed it does worsen fuel economy, you are at least getting something from burning your fuel - i.e. you're actually going somewhere at the same time.

    But at that stage of your journey, while sat in a queue of traffic with an engine most likely at the correct operating temperature by then, you'll hardly be burning any fuel. That's my point - it's from cold that most fuel is burned, and when idling an engine will take longer to warm up. Just drive the thing, and you'll warm up more quickly and use less fuel.
    #38
  39. Geordie Mike
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    Geordie Mike Yeee-haw

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    Does it not take exactly the same amount of fuel to reach a certain temperature (ignoring the differences in efficiency at differing operating points for the engine)? So it doesn't matter if you're idling or doing 70, it takes the same amount of fuel to reach x deg C, which involves burning y ccs of fuel, depositing z mg of soot either way?

    Just a thought. Also, if you tend to be running up machiney, you don't go straight to full on, having an intermittent period of doing less work is usually a good thing.

    Mike
    #39
  40. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    "But at that stage of your journey, while sat in a queue of traffic with an engine most likely at the correct operating temperature"
    Not where I live mate, I get 400m up my road then I'm straight into a queue.
    I used to live 2 minutes drive from the A3M - big dual carriageway/motorway and it was really difficult to drive slowly waiting for the temp to rise.
    Personally I think waiting for the operating temp to rise in idle is better for the engine than thrashing the engine when you think the operating temp has been reached i.e. most people wait for the coolant to get to 90, but at that point the engine oil will still only be about 50 degrees.
    #40

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