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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
if going a short distance, is it worse in the cold (below zero, it was around -10 this morning) to start the car and let it run a bit, or drive it right away and not let the engine warm up at all by the time it gets shut off again. i'm asking because lately i've been working less than a mile from my house, so neither the trip there, nor the trip back lets the engine heat up much at all. either option doesn't sound optimal, but is one better than the other? thanks
 

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Ironhead
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13,253 Posts
it is always better to warm your car under load, ie running down the street. your trips up and down of about a mile cold are not a big deal, just keep the tach under 4K. you dont want to circulate unfiltered oil through your engine, and until N.O.T is reached, above 4K thats what you are doing.
 

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Former '05er
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I agree with D, however, short trips like that are what cause sludge. It takes a full 10 minutes of driving under load to warm up the oil. Traveling less than a mile will not fully warm the oil, so you will be more likely to develop sludge than someone who drives at least 20 minutes to get somewhere.

You have two options: Change the oil and filter every 3000 miles, or drive the car more. Either one has an associated cost that you need to evaluate for yourself.

While it may sound a little foolish to drive less than a mile, I do understand not wanting to get frostbite just because you're saving your car. I grew up in Eastern Iowa, I can appreciate -10 with a chill factor putting you somewhere around -25...
 

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Ironhead
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^^^ no doubt. one winter in chicago cured me of giving anyone sh!t about driving short distances. 50 below off the lakes eats a$$.
 
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