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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Should I Let the Car Idle on Cold Start?



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      01-28-2013, 10:55 PM   #1
hunginator
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Should I Let the Car Idle on Cold Start?

Hey everyone,

Is it better to let the car idle a little bit before you start driving it from a cold start? I heard somewhere that for BMW's, you can just start driving it immediately and that it should be fine. I thought that it was weird when I heard that comment.

Normally, with all the other cars I've had, I would wait a little for the idle rev to drop before I start driving to let the car warm up a little.

Does anyone know if what I heard is true?

Thanks!
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      01-28-2013, 11:06 PM   #2
michaelalex17
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this has been discussed a lot you can search. dont know how your 325i is but in the 335i the rpm needle starts at like 1000 rpms and then it slowy drops to like 600rpms in about 30 seconds. i wait for that then drive.
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      01-28-2013, 11:06 PM   #3
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I believe per the owner's manual BMW recommends immediately driving so the transmission and engine warm up together. I usually wait about 10-15 seconds and stay under 3k rpm till i'm at 160-170+
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      01-28-2013, 11:10 PM   #4
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I give it a few minutes when it's real cold out.
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      01-28-2013, 11:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deluxe 247 View Post
I believe per the owner's manual BMW recommends immediately driving so the transmission and engine warm up together. I usually wait about 10-15 seconds and stay under 3k rpm till i'm at 160-170+
This. The manual for my 325i says to start driving immediately at a moderate engine speed. With that said, I've always let my other cars "warm" up a bit before driving. Maybe this is only towards those who have their cars inside of garages?
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      01-28-2013, 11:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deluxe 247 View Post
I believe per the owner's manual BMW recommends immediately driving so the transmission and engine warm up together. I usually wait about 10-15 seconds and stay under 3k rpm till i'm at 160-170+
this
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      01-28-2013, 11:21 PM   #7
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You will get all sorts of methods and reasons and theories for warming up or why not to warm up. With the crazy cold we've been having i let mine warm. The seats are freezing the windows are frozen, and i'm too cold to start driving and can't see anything out the windshield. It warms up while i scrape the windshield, or brush snow, choose a station and adjust my seat and warm up the steering wheel.

Here's my crazy technical reasoning. If idling 2 minutes doesn't hurt it, why not take the precaution.

More importantly though is probably to ease on out into the street and not race it out of your parking spot. That probably makes more of a difference since it is slowly working the rest of the drive train that isn't warming as you idle.
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      01-28-2013, 11:21 PM   #8
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I also drive immediately. its better for the engine that way. idling is not good for the engine. if you keep the revs low, under 2k for a few mins and gradually up the rev the engine and tranny will warm up nicely together. i ve done this with all my previous car and had zero issues. avoid long idling of the engine.
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      01-28-2013, 11:39 PM   #9
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Ah, I see. Thanks for the replies. I always thought it would be a good idea to "warm up" the engine a bit by idling before driving it in the winter. Where I live, the temperatures are about -20 degrees Celcius.

In the summer time, I normally don't warm up the vehicle as much.
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      01-29-2013, 03:38 AM   #10
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I wouldn't. I was reading an article about this and they say it's better not too because of the fumes of carbon monoxide from the exhaust can seak through the cabin..if ur idilng inside a garage it's more dangerous
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      04-12-2013, 01:20 PM   #11
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Idling is not good for the engine. As I have experienced my engine wobbling @ 600 for 10 - 20 secs after warming it up by idling.
Instead I started driving off immediately, and it never wobbled. But once when I parked my car in cold windy garage at my office the engine got very cold. When I started driving off (not hitting the gas hard), my engine seems like it got misfired and it was making a weird sound and the rpm was dancing between 600 and 400. I stopped aside and called the BMW.
I stalled the engine for a while and then started it and it was normal.
I am planning to go to the dealer and see if they can help. As I see that it is very common to the BMWs though. But it never happened again.
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      04-12-2013, 01:48 PM   #12
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Start it up, hear the engine rev... 10-20 seconds later it calms down, drive away... hehe. The only time I let it idle is if it's covered in snow, I'll start the car, and heated seats, then clean the outside.
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      04-12-2013, 02:30 PM   #13
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I normally on my 330i let it drop from 1k idle down to normal spot then keep it under 2k for little.
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      04-12-2013, 03:53 PM   #14
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I let it idle at cold start.

Usually starts up at 1k rpm, then after 30-45 seconds, it drops down to 600 rpm. I then drive without going pass 3k rpm. After oil temperature hits 200+, I punch it
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      04-12-2013, 07:03 PM   #15
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I start her up and drive off once I'm ready (put the seatbelt on, fire up the mp3 player, etc...). On snow (PTOOOIE!!!!) days, I start her up and then brush the snow (PTOOOIIIEEE!!!) off her, then drive off once I'm ready.

Cheers!
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      04-12-2013, 07:26 PM   #16
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Letting your engine idle during cold start is not bad for it. It's designed to idle all day long. Idling has no load and therefore puts much less friction on key parts when the engine oil is providing sub-optimal lubrication because it's still cold. Putting load on the engine will induce more friction with cold oil than normal.

However, letting it idle will take a lot longer for the engine to achieve its optimal operating temperature. While still better to let it idle, car manufacturers and oil makers don't expect you to sit there and wait for your engine to be fully warm before you drive off. It can take it.

Just don't push the car hard until it's warmed up like everyone says. Turbos generate (and are exposed to) a lot of heat when you get on the throttle. The bearings need to be perfectly lubricated and the seals need to expand slowly as they heat up. Too rapid heating will damage the seals and stress the bearings.
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      04-12-2013, 10:39 PM   #17
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      04-13-2013, 07:18 AM   #18
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Emissions is the only reason your manual says do NOT idle.

Don't know how good or bad it is, but in my opinion its better to let the car warm up for few minutes or so (1-2 maybe, wait for RPMs to drop). After all you do have to warm up the car to use full RPM range. And it is bad if you dont.

Truck drivers idle for several days sometimes, my first car Nissan used to idle alot, many times for straight 10 hours.........didnt have any problems at 165k on cheap dyno oil....

On my current car I usually wait for temp gauge to move 1 bar to start driving and rev past 5k only when car is fully warmed up

Last edited by Kolyan2k; 04-13-2013 at 08:49 AM.
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