Do You Start Your Car to Let It Warm Up or Cool Down?

Echoes

O.G.
Aug 8, 2008
10,402
9
OK, I know not everybody has a car or drives to work or school, or if you do, you may not be able to park close by.

But if you do.... do you start your car and let it idle for a few minutes before you get in and drive? I know people who will let their car run for 15-20 minutes or more just so it's warm in the winter or cool in the summer. I always thought that was a huge waste of gas.

In extremely cold weather, you probably should let the engine run for 5 minutes or so before starting out to let the fluids warm and circulate, but I can't see much longer than that.


No big deal either way, just curious.
 

.jourdyn.

living & loving life
Feb 17, 2009
3,257
14
Wisco
If I am parked outside then yes, I let my engine run for about 5 or so minutes or long enough for it to be warm in my car. Just because it's bad to drive it right away especially if it's super cold out. But not 15-20 minutes, that is just way to long.

I've never let my car cool down before.
 
Nov 18, 2010
987
4
50
Brooklyn, NY
OK, I know not everybody has a car or drives to work or school, or if you do, you may not be able to park close by.

But if you do.... do you start your car and let it idle for a few minutes before you get in and drive? I know people who will let their car run for 15-20 minutes or more just so it's warm in the winter or cool in the summer. I always thought that was a huge waste of gas.

In extremely cold weather, you probably should let the engine run for 5 minutes or so before starting out to let the fluids warm and circulate, but I can't see much longer than that.


No big deal either way, just curious.
The only time I have seen a 15-20 minute wait is invariably when I am waiting for the spot they are vacating.

Otherwise I usually wait 30 seconds to allow the fluids to move around the engine etc.

Of course on a lease its "slightly" less than that.

:devil:
 

pmburk

O.G.
Jul 10, 2008
8,079
3,819
Texas
Not usually, because I park in a garage, so my vehicle is usually fairly comfortable.

The only time I ever let my car idle and warm up is if I've been parked outdoors at my office and it has snowed or there's ice all over everything, and I'm waiting on it to defrost so I can see.
 

Echoes

O.G.
Aug 8, 2008
10,402
9
Just to clarify, I'm talking about unattended. Go out, start it (or use a remote starter), then wait inside the house or office, then go out to it and leave.

I've come in to work at night sometimes and found 2 or 3 cars in the parking lot idling with the people inside the building.
 
Nov 18, 2010
987
4
50
Brooklyn, NY
Just to clarify, I'm talking about unattended. Go out, start it (or use a remote starter), then wait inside the house or office, then go out to it and leave.

I've come in to work at night sometimes and found 2 or 3 cars in the parking lot idling with the people inside the building.
Ah...Get in and drive you meant really get in and drive.

I used to when I had a remote starter but never that long. Just enough to get warmed.

I suspect that people that warm it up that long have probably forgotten that they had the car running or they got caught up with something inside the house and couldnt get out.
 

ANL1

Matching Nailpolish
May 10, 2009
4,579
8
EU
When my SO starts his car, he drives in circles reaaally slowly for about 10-15 min to heat up the engine. It annoys me terribly, but his car is his baby so I let him ;)

If I would leave my car unattended, I would be terrified people stealing it. No, if I would leave my car unattended here, it would be stolen :P
 

buzzytoes

Dog Chauffeur
O.G.
Jun 7, 2008
15,815
835
44
6600 Feet Above Sea Level
In the winter time I let my car warm up for about 20 minutes depending on how cold it is outside. We don't have a garage to keep our cars in so they sit outside. I do this to let the engine warm up, but also to let the defroster run so the ice and snow will melt off of the windshield. I live in WY and it gets quite cold (as in many days below zero) during the winter. A lot of people will leave their cars running while they go grocery shopping, fill up their gas tank, etc. The Cali girl in me can't trust people enough to leave it running while grocery shopping but I have yet to hear of anyone having their car stolen. I thought it was the strangest thing ever when I moved here but now I don't bat an eyelash.
 
Nov 18, 2010
987
4
50
Brooklyn, NY
When my SO starts his car, he drives in circles reaaally slowly for about 10-15 min to heat up the engine. It annoys me terribly, but his car is his baby so I let him ;)

If I would leave my car unattended, I would be terrified people stealing it. No, if I would leave my car unattended here, it would be stolen :P
Remote Starter sets usually have a kill switch that is engaged if the brake is touched without the key being inserted so there is almost no risk of that if you are using one.
 
Apr 14, 2008
30,210
2,573
No. I park in a garage at home and school so my car is never extremely hot or cold. In the winter time I'll jump in and run it for a minute or two before pulling off but never longer that that.

I never leave my car running unattended.