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  1. #1
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

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    This may be a dumb question but are we supposed to warm up the car before start driving from cold start?
    I have read somewhere on the forum that B8's do not need warm up or something like that before.
    thanks
    current: 2010 Audi A4 2.0T - Blesk 5000K D3S bulbs, LED interiors, Blesk 3000K HID fogs, Blesk LED festoon on license plates, carbon fiber wrapped roof, + more upgrades may be on the way upon approval from the boss (wify)
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Two Rings Banan's Avatar
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    No, the best thing for the car is for you to drive off gently right after starting. As little idling as possible. These B8:s gets warm in no time when driving.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    I think i heard you need to let your car run after you're done driving to let the turbo cool down or something. can someone confirm? thanks

  4. #4
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    Nope, start driving almost immediately. See this thread for more details about proper cold starting.

    Cold Weather Starting and New DI Engine
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  5. #5
    Veteran Member Four Rings Ryan_T's Avatar
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    You don't need to cool it down either, there are sensors that keeps the fan going for a while after you turn it off.
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  6. #6
    Veteran Member Four Rings DavidB8's Avatar
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    I would take this all with a grain of salt. If I didn't know any better I would be replacing an engine based on the advise given here.

    You can not just hop into a car at -30 start it up and drive off. Over a small period of time (weeks-month) you will end up with engine damage, transmission damage or power steering.

    As far as not needing to cool it down?? Well I guess all the people out there that make turbo timers and alarm manufacturers that build in turbo timer by passes do it for kicks. The fan running only cools the coolant in the radiator. Eventually the system will cool down from the rad being cooled but this doesn't do anything for the oil that is baking in your turbo. A fan running isn't circulating your anti freeze so it's not valid to think it's going to cool your turbo to quick.

    Now the proper thing to do is judge your own situation accordingly. There are no do this do that hard and fast rules. If you are in a mild climate then no, start your car up, give at least 30 seconds to a minute to circulate the oil before driving off. Take it easy for the firs 3 miles and the car should be all ready to go.

    If you are in a colder climate, consider a battery heater and either an inline coolant heater or an oil pan heater. This will help you follow the regular starting pattern a bit closer. Give your vehicle a couple of minutes to get the fluids moving but don't let it go much longer.

    There are a number of reasons idling your vehicle is bad for it, one is carbon build up. The more serious though is condensation building in the engine. It's not uncommon at all up here to see a truck with a fried motor due to water buildup in the oil pan. What happens is during idling condensation builds up in the oil pan, when the engine shuts down some of that water can find it's way into the oil pump and freeze, there by disabling the oil pump on your next start. It's very unlikely this would happen to your Audi but I have seen it happen. In fact I paid 10K to have new motor put into one of our work trucks last winter because of this. I have to use trucks for comparison because there are not many cars up here and I have the only Audi.

    Another hint, NEVER leave your wheels turned when parked in cold weather. What happens is the fluid gets cold and thick, when you start the car if your wheels are turned the pump immediately goes to work trying to move that thick oil and can burst a line. Happens all the time up here. Always make sure your wheels are straight when you park where possible.

    Now for the cooling down. Once again every situation is different, no hard or fast rules. If you are out for a leisure drive and get home, no you don't have to cool it down. If you are out winding the car up and pushing her for a while and come to a stop, yes you should let it run for a bit. If your car is flashed and your running a program even more so. The heat issue comes mostly from the turbo not the engine. If you do a search I sure you can find some pictures on the net of turbos glowing red at night from being worked hard. If you just shut your car off after working the turbo hard all the oil around the turbo could bake. It can also cause deposits to build up and eventually cause turbo failure. I haven't seen the turbo on the new A4 yet but I know that a turbo can be liquid and oil cooled like the one I had retro fitted to my 240sx back int he day. These take a little less beating but still not good. So if your out canyon carving and come up to a parking lot.. Let the car run for 2 minutes to allow the turbo to cool. If your running out to grab some beer and chips for the game, then don't worry about it.

    Remember every situation is different and even the manufacturer can't predict them all. They told me I didn't need anything with my Audi in the Arctic. Everyone in the Arctic laughed at me when I said that. And they were right. No car can run properly in extreme cold for long durations without proper prep.

    So use common sense and try and think about whats going on under your hood.
    Some of this is fact some experience so take it leave it or whatever
    Last edited by DavidB8; 11-20-2009 at 08:31 AM.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Four Rings Ryan_T's Avatar
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    Good info. I was just echoing what I've read around here.

    I do notice a bit of shaking in the first few minutes every morning recently, as the temp drops. So I do drive easy in the first few minutes heading up to the hwy. I figured that should be enough for the typical commutes. As for cooling down, when you say let it run a bit, how long are you talking here? Normally I calm down on the driving as I'm about 3-5 minutes or so from home anyway.
    Ryan - flickr

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    Thanks, David.
    Your detail explanation helps lotS!
    current: 2010 Audi A4 2.0T - Blesk 5000K D3S bulbs, LED interiors, Blesk 3000K HID fogs, Blesk LED festoon on license plates, carbon fiber wrapped roof, + more upgrades may be on the way upon approval from the boss (wify)
    past: 99' Audi A4 2.8, 03' B6 A4, 2009 IS250, ACURA TL-S, 240SX, + 13 more...

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Four Rings DavidB8's Avatar
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan_T View Post
    I do notice a bit of shaking in the first few minutes every morning recently, as the temp drops. So I do drive easy in the first few minutes heading up to the hwy. I figured that should be enough for the typical commutes.
    Correct a few minutes or about 3 miles and your good. Shaking may not be that unusual depending. Up here as the temperature drops soft compound tires become hard and end up with a flat spot just from sitting over night. A little drive and they round out again. It's very strange..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan_T View Post
    As for cooling down, when you say let it run a bit, how long are you talking here? Normally I calm down on the driving as I'm about 3-5 minutes or so from home anyway.
    Just a couple of minutes is all it needs. I do the same thing as you though. If I know I have been hard on the car I will take it real easy for the last part of the drive so I don't have to sit there with the car running. I would imagine 3-5 mins of none turbo abuse should be enough to get it back to normal operating range.
    Last edited by DavidB8; 11-20-2009 at 08:47 AM.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Four Rings Nght&Day-B8's Avatar
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    When the cars been sitting for a whole night and started in the morning the RPMs are high for the purpose of warming the engine to driving temp. So i usually just wait till the needle drops in RPMs (maybe about 2 mins) and then drive it easy from there till normal operating temp.

  11. #11
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    just last night it was a little chilly out, and I could feel the pistons going from the cold weather making the oil settle or whatever. Thats in 50 degree temps, drove easy until out of my Gf's neighborhood then drove usual

    I would be pretty scared if it got really cold here, about engine wear, as this alone frightens me
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidB8 View Post
    I would take this all with a grain of salt. If I didn't know any better I would be replacing an engine based on the advise given here.

    You can not just hop into a car at -30 start it up and drive off. Over a small period of time (weeks-month) you will end up with engine damage, transmission damage or power steering.
    Fair enough, but such severe cold climates only change the timing a bit, not the overall concept. I would wager the vast majority of folks reading this forum don't regularly experience -30 temps, or even regular sub-zero temps. That type of cold really does demand separate oil/engine heating assistance.

    Essentially you want to drive off once the oil pressure is up. This still shouldn't take very long, even on a cold morning (assuming the proper weight of oil is being used). For most folks in more typical winter conditions it should only take a few moments to get the oil pressure up and then drive off. You want to minimize the amount of time a cold engine is idling.

    It is important to note that this procedure should be used year-round, and doesn't just apply to cold weather. When we refer to cold starting we are talking about starting an engine that is cold, not about cold weather.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Two Rings
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    ok when i turn off my car the fans go crazy or some shit for a good 10-15 minuteess and its pretty loud .. like the 335i's fans turn off in a minute ... y is the a4 so crazy?
    current car - black b8 s4
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  14. #14
    Forum Moderator Four Rings MiracleWhips's Avatar
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    After reading about all the preventions one needs to go through living in a cold climte, I am glad I live in mild climate, and fortunate enough to have a heated garage!

    You Florida guys talking about how chilly it is outside....Puh..Lease!
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  15. #15
    Veteran Member Four Rings Kay15's Avatar
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    Quote Originally Posted by MiracleWhips View Post
    After reading about all the preventions one needs to go through living in a cold climte, I am glad I live in mild climate, and fortunate enough to have a heated garage!

    You Florida guys talking about how chilly it is outside....Puh..Lease!
    You only leave the car on idle because its too cold to sit in it, most times I know the car will warm up but the thought of me freezing doesnt sit too well. Its give or take the engine will learn to co-op with about 5min of idle time:)

  16. #16
    Veteran Member Four Rings DeMOROlized's Avatar
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    Quote Originally Posted by akinaboy View Post
    This may be a dumb question but are we supposed to warm up the car before start driving from cold start?
    I have read somewhere on the forum that B8's do not need warm up or something like that before.
    thanks
    Not just B8. Any modern car doesn't need an idle warm up.
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  17. #17
    Veteran Member Four Rings DeMOROlized's Avatar
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidB8 View Post
    I would take this all with a grain of salt. If I didn't know any better I would be replacing an engine based on the advise given here.

    You can not just hop into a car at -30 start it up and drive off. Over a small period of time (weeks-month) you will end up with engine damage, transmission damage or power steering.

    As far as not needing to cool it down?? Well I guess all the people out there that make turbo timers and alarm manufacturers that build in turbo timer by passes do it for kicks. The fan running only cools the coolant in the radiator. Eventually the system will cool down from the rad being cooled but this doesn't do anything for the oil that is baking in your turbo. A fan running isn't circulating your anti freeze so it's not valid to think it's going to cool your turbo to quick.

    Now the proper thing to do is judge your own situation accordingly. There are no do this do that hard and fast rules. If you are in a mild climate then no, start your car up, give at least 30 seconds to a minute to circulate the oil before driving off. Take it easy for the firs 3 miles and the car should be all ready to go.

    If you are in a colder climate, consider a battery heater and either an inline coolant heater or an oil pan heater. This will help you follow the regular starting pattern a bit closer. Give your vehicle a couple of minutes to get the fluids moving but don't let it go much longer.

    There are a number of reasons idling your vehicle is bad for it, one is carbon build up. The more serious though is condensation building in the engine. It's not uncommon at all up here to see a truck with a fried motor due to water buildup in the oil pan. What happens is during idling condensation builds up in the oil pan, when the engine shuts down some of that water can find it's way into the oil pump and freeze, there by disabling the oil pump on your next start. It's very unlikely this would happen to your Audi but I have seen it happen. In fact I paid 10K to have new motor put into one of our work trucks last winter because of this. I have to use trucks for comparison because there are not many cars up here and I have the only Audi.

    Another hint, NEVER leave your wheels turned when parked in cold weather. What happens is the fluid gets cold and thick, when you start the car if your wheels are turned the pump immediately goes to work trying to move that thick oil and can burst a line. Happens all the time up here. Always make sure your wheels are straight when you park where possible.

    Now for the cooling down. Once again every situation is different, no hard or fast rules. If you are out for a leisure drive and get home, no you don't have to cool it down. If you are out winding the car up and pushing her for a while and come to a stop, yes you should let it run for a bit. If your car is flashed and your running a program even more so. The heat issue comes mostly from the turbo not the engine. If you do a search I sure you can find some pictures on the net of turbos glowing red at night from being worked hard. If you just shut your car off after working the turbo hard all the oil around the turbo could bake. It can also cause deposits to build up and eventually cause turbo failure. I haven't seen the turbo on the new A4 yet but I know that a turbo can be liquid and oil cooled like the one I had retro fitted to my 240sx back int he day. These take a little less beating but still not good. So if your out canyon carving and come up to a parking lot.. Let the car run for 2 minutes to allow the turbo to cool. If your running out to grab some beer and chips for the game, then don't worry about it.

    Remember every situation is different and even the manufacturer can't predict them all. They told me I didn't need anything with my Audi in the Arctic. Everyone in the Arctic laughed at me when I said that. And they were right. No car can run properly in extreme cold for long durations without proper prep.

    So use common sense and try and think about whats going on under your hood.
    Some of this is fact some experience so take it leave it or whatever
    Granted I don't live way up north where you are, but for 99% of us, we really don't need to and should not idle to warm up in the winter. It really doesn't take that long to have the fluids circulating, and for the 99% of us not living way up north where you are, driving away with a light foot on the gas pedal is the best way to warm up the engine. I've been doing that for years to multiple cars, with no engine damage.

    For cooling down, if you beat on the turbo all the way til you arrive at your destination, then yes, you'll absolutely need to idle. What I normally do is to use the last few minutes of the trip to cruise to the destination, and it's an effective way to cool down the turbo.
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  18. #18
    Veteran Member Four Rings audi til I die's Avatar
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    Too lazy to read this on a Friday night but I don't give an eff what anyone says, I ALWAYS warm up a vehicle from 5-10 minutes before I drive it on mornings colder than 60, which is all the time in IL. I've worked on too many engines and been around cars too long to listen to anyone telling me that jumping on a car that has been sitting for 8 hours in 0 degree weather and driving it is nonsense and just a good excuse to be lazy. I love my babies too much to make them work super hard in the cold. There's been a couple times I couldn't wait longer than it takes for the revs to drop and I can just feel my A6 and B5 stroking through the block in thick molasses. It hurt me
    Winter's coming

  19. #19
    Veteran Member Four Rings audi til I die's Avatar
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    BTW our turbo's are water cooled so unless you are boosting while arriving to your destination, cool down isn't totally necessary. Just take it easy before you bring the car to a halt.
    Winter's coming

  20. #20
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    Quote Originally Posted by audi til I die View Post
    I've worked on too many engines and been around cars too long to listen to anyone telling me that jumping on a car that has been sitting for 8 hours in 0 degree weather and driving it is nonsense and just a good excuse to be lazy.
    Not a single person has advocated jumping on it while it is still cold. In fact, we've all said to drive very gently until the engine warms. Low revs and early shifts are the order of the day with a cold engine.

    Driving it gets the engine to proper operating temperature as fast as possible, which actually minimizes engine damage. Letting it idle means it is running cold for as long as possible and generating far more wear on the engine.

    It's not about being lazy at all. As a matter of fact, if I strictly had my own comfort in mind, I'd let it warm up while I sat in my toasty house. Since I want to do what's best for my engine, I live with the cold car to start my morning drive.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Two Rings Banan's Avatar
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidB8 View Post
    I would take this all with a grain of salt. If I didn't know any better I would be replacing an engine based on the advise given here.

    You can not just hop into a car at -30 start it up and drive off. Over a small period of time (weeks-month) you will end up with engine damage, transmission damage or power steering.

    Some of this is fact some experience so take it leave it or whatever
    Let me start by saying that I don't claim your wrong but I do also live in pretty cold climate, but we don't get -30 (F?) for any extended periods of time, just a couple a days. We do however have long periods of -20C (-4F) during the winter and I start my car and drive away after putting on my seatbelt and so on, say 15-20sec if it haven't snowed, and have done so with my B5 since it was new with no trouble what so ever. Bought it back in -95 when they were released so it's close to 15 years now. If there is snow on the car I start the car up and let it idle when removing the snow which takes a minute or two.

    But I (and probably 95% that lives up here in the north) do use a electric engine heater that warms the water for a couple of hours before starting when the mercury creeps below freezing and it takes darn near an emergency before I start it without preheating it =)

    The key is to be real gentle with the car until it's warm.

    Those are my experiences from living in the cold and my best advice is to install an electric heater for both the engine and inside the car even if you don't get -30. It's so much nicer to start a warm car =)

  22. #22
    Veteran Member Four Rings DavidB8's Avatar
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Banan View Post
    Those are my experiences from living in the cold and my best advice is to install an electric heater for both the engine and inside the car even if you don't get -30. It's so much nicer to start a warm car =)
    Well I was thinking -30C when I wrote it but thinking after, we do see -45 for small period of time which is pretty close no matter which scale your looking at.

    But if you read what I wrote "If you are in a colder climate, consider a battery heater and either an inline coolant heater or an oil pan heater. This will help you follow the regular starting pattern a bit closer."

    Which means no extended idle time. I do not let my car idle anymore than a couple of minutes because I do use an oil pan heater and battery heater. Car starts no problem every time. But if I hop in the car and clutch fluid isn't warmed at least a bit from the engine heat it feels really sluggish.

    Since most heaters are not available for Audi's my advice is aimed at those that don't have the same equipment.

    And this is on my 10 year old B5. I don't get my B8 for another 32 day

    I am having a coolant heater, oil pan heater and battery heater installed before I even pick it up. Overkill? I don't think so, Oil pan for the car, coolant for me cause I hate waiting to get warmth in the car

    Now I don't know what the B8's are like but just about everyone up here agrees that once our cars/trucks get below -4F it needs to be heated somehow or it starts getting really hard to start and that's where the real risks kick in.

    Now I have never tried this but.. An old guy up here told me before I got my heaters installed to throw a 100 watt light under the hood near the oil pan. He said that should be enough heat to help keep the oil from thickening to much.. So caught in a bad place with no alternatives?? Give it a try I guess.

    Final note.. FLUIDS FLUIDS FLUIDS.. Please make sure your using the correct oils and so forth for the climate. Don't assume what you can use in the summer works in the winter. That's the BIGGEST step to minimizing damage.

  23. #23
    Veteran Member Four Rings DavidB8's Avatar
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    Quote Originally Posted by Banan View Post
    But I (and probably 95% that lives up here in the north) do use a electric engine heater that warms the water for a couple of hours before starting when the mercury creeps below freezing and it takes darn near an emergency before I start it without preheating it =)
    Question for you.. I noticed your location, do they offer block heaters there for Audi's? Unfortunately in North America we can't get the AUX heaters or any type of block heaters from the factory. They have to be retro fitted from generic parts.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Two Rings Banan's Avatar
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    Re: Are we supposed to warm up the car after cold start?

    Nope no factory block heaters for us, just some crappy ones that goes on the coolant hoose. It does the job but not as god as a god ol' block heater.

    We do see -40 and then some every other year or so but luckily not for more than a few days. One really has to stand i the middle of the pants when it's that cold! God thing is even the mosquitos stays home those days =)



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