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      01-09-2017, 03:09 PM   #1
chadillac2000
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After a cold start, any damage done by cutting the car back off before fully warm?

As a rule of thumb, I try to avoid starting my car after sitting 12+ hours and then shutting it back off before it reaches safe operating temperatures. An example would be quickly moving parking spots, cold starting the car from my parking lot and cutting it off at a gas station down the street, etc.

Am I wasting my time or is there some method to my madness?
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      01-09-2017, 04:02 PM   #2
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Not to be rude, but that's the weirdest question I've ever heard. Where did this rule of thumb originate?
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      01-09-2017, 04:12 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ehummelman View Post
Not to be rude, but that's the weirdest question I've ever heard. Where did this rule of thumb originate?
I've just heard that the most natural wear to an engine is done during cold starts when the oil temperatures are at their lowest, so it would make sense that a lot of cold starts on the engine over years of ownership that only last a few minutes would be worse (even if only by a trivial margin) than not doing them at all.
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      01-09-2017, 05:06 PM   #4
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The amount of damage you might be doing is probably completely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things
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      01-09-2017, 07:01 PM   #5
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Engines hate being cold started and shut off before reaching operating temp. If you make a habit out of doing this repeatedly throughout the cars life, whether in the form of moving the car or simply driving a short distance before it gets warm, the crankcase ventilation system cannot handle the associated condensation. Oil sludge and build up will form in the head. I've seen it countless times on the M54 engine and it's predecessors and derivatives. Do a quick search for 'BMW oil sludge' and check out the photos you get.
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      01-09-2017, 08:49 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by tock172 View Post
Engines hate being cold started and shut off before reaching operating temp. If you make a habit out of doing this repeatedly throughout the cars life, whether in the form of moving the car or simply driving a short distance before it gets warm, the crankcase ventilation system cannot handle the associated condensation. Oil sludge and build up will form in the head. I've seen it countless times on the M54 engine and it's predecessors and derivatives. Do a quick search for 'BMW oil sludge' and check out the photos you get.
This is the type of response I was looking for. I shall continue to be a stickler about cold starting and moving my car unless I have good reason and/or will be driving it normal and letting the oil get up to temp.
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      01-09-2017, 09:28 PM   #7
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Just be sure to get her up to full operating (oil) temp at least once a week to boil off any small amounts of fuel that have seeped past the rings at cold start.
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      01-09-2017, 09:29 PM   #8
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Avoid it if you can, but sometimes you can't.

Better to start up and shut down quickly, than start up then idle waiting for it to come up to temp however...

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      01-09-2017, 09:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadillac2000 View Post
As a rule of thumb, I try to avoid starting my car after sitting 12+ hours and then shutting it back off before it reaches safe operating temperatures. An example would be quickly moving parking spots, cold starting the car from my parking lot and cutting it off at a gas station down the street, etc.

Am I wasting my time or is there some method to my madness?
Also in addition to what others said, engines runs rich on cold start. Especially on older bmws they have been known to flood and/or foul out spark plugs if enough repeated cold starts are done without warming the car up enough to burn off the additional fuel.

I've seen a few cars that were flooded bad enough that they wouldn't start... usually turns out that the car is someone's second or third car and would just get moved around every now and then. Deffinatly something you should try to avoid doing.
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      01-09-2017, 10:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ianc View Post
Avoid it if you can, but sometimes you can't.

Better to start up and shut down quickly, than start up then idle waiting for it to come up to temp however...

ianc
So avoid if at all possible, but if you must, do it quickly and shut back down rather than let it idle for an extended period at that cold temperature. Wasn't sure about that last part.
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      01-09-2017, 10:48 PM   #11
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My 135i is my second vehicle and I only drive it 2-3 days each week, sometimes less. I avoid cold starting it unless I'm going to drive it to the point where the oil temp needle is close to the center. Doing it every now and then isn't going to cause problems, but if your daily commute is 3 miles and the car is shut off for the day after that short journey, problems may arise.

Another thing that comes to mind is letting the car idle to warm up. On a modern vehicle, letting your car sit after starting to warm up the engine is a misnomer and is likely doing more harm then good both in mechanical wear and increased emissions. Until the engine is put under load, very little oil is circulating and it will take a long time for things to heat up. Some engines never truly reach operating temp when sitting. It's best to fire up the car and go, or in the case of the N55, some like to wait the 30 seconds for the RPMs to drop and the exhaust valve to close.
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      01-09-2017, 11:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tock172 View Post
My 135i is my second vehicle and I only drive it 2-3 days each week, sometimes less. I avoid cold starting it unless I'm going to drive it to the point where the oil temp needle is close to the center. Doing it every now and then isn't going to cause problems, but if your daily commute is 3 miles and the car is shut off for the day after that short journey, problems may arise.

Another thing that comes to mind is letting the car idle to warm up. On a modern vehicle, letting your car sit after starting to warm up the engine is a misnomer and is likely doing more harm then good both in mechanical wear and increased emissions. Until the engine is put under load, very little oil is circulating and it will take a long time for things to heat up. Some engines never truly reach operating temp when sitting. It's best to fire up the car and go, or in the case of the N55, some like to wait the 30 seconds for the RPMs to drop and the exhaust valve to close.
Great points. I drive my 1er about 75 miles round trip 4 times a week so that probably wouldn't be an issue for me since it gets driven for over an hour each time it's cranked for the most part.

I've heard the same information about not letting the car idle for very long just until the RPMs drop, then take off, try to stay out of boost and below 3000-3500 RPMs until oil temps reach where you feel comfortable. I try to wait until I'm up over 200 before I take the RPMs above 4,000.

Something still feels cruel about starting my car in below freezing temperatures and putting load on the engine after just 15 seconds or so.
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      01-10-2017, 06:04 PM   #13
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its a car. Every part can be replaced. Don't beat on it when cold. I usually go very gentle on all my cars until I feel a wisp of heat coming out, then I gradually shift a little later.

I try not to beat on my cars whether cold or hot. That's not to say I don't have fun, I just don't jackrabbit the car in traffic.

Easy for an old fart like me who had his fun with muscle cars to say, but even when young I respected my machinery.
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      01-10-2017, 06:08 PM   #14
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haha wudnt worry i bottomed out my n54 on thsi crater once i literally drove for like 15 sec with barely any oil in it and the car is fine and thats was like a year ago and my cars still runs solid till this day
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      01-10-2017, 06:12 PM   #15
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The "old timers" will tel you of the 20/2 rule... either run the car for under 20 seconds or more than 2 minutes. But in the end... lots of short cold starts diluted your engine oil(bc the engine runs richer cold) and engine wear occurs mostly on cold start. So its best to run the car up to operating temps for long-er engine life. And change your engine oil often.

I remember back in the day when I worked for a VW dealer in the 90's... VW didn't understand why they were paying for some many spark plugs and battery replacements on brand new(low mileage) cars. So... VW installed a "counter" under the dashboard, that counted each time the engine was started. VW estimated maybe 50 starts before the car reached the "selling" dealer - where the PDI tech would remove the device and record the readings. Well... most of those cars equipped with the counters had numbers up in the hundreds!! (800 I think) After that... VW didn't give us grief for warranty claims on brand new cars!
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      01-10-2017, 08:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
So avoid if at all possible, but if you must, do it quickly and shut back down rather than let it idle for an extended period at that cold temperature
Exactly right...

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      01-10-2017, 10:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommm View Post
its a car. Every part can be replaced. Don't beat on it when cold. I usually go very gentle on all my cars until I feel a wisp of heat coming out, then I gradually shift a little later.

I try not to beat on my cars whether cold or hot. That's not to say I don't have fun, I just don't jackrabbit the car in traffic.

Easy for an old fart like me who had his fun with muscle cars to say, but even when young I respected my machinery.
You'll warm up the engine even faster if you leave the heater turned off.
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      01-11-2017, 10:32 AM   #18
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Definitely don't shut down cold if you have a rotary engine, like moving it in the driveway to a different spot - you won't be able to re-start it and will have to get it towed to a dealership. This happened to me at least 2 times with my old RX-8.
(who knows, maybe someone swapped out their N54 for a sweet 13B Rotary...)
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      01-11-2017, 10:48 AM   #19
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As others have said it's not the best. But with most of us enthusiasts running high quality synthetic that we change frequently, don't beat yourself up about it.

It becomes more of an issue when it happens 50x per oil change, and said oil hasn't been changed in 15k miles.
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      01-11-2017, 01:02 PM   #20
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Great info in here. Thanks everyone!
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      01-11-2017, 05:05 PM   #21
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I had a GTI 1.8T and drove it to work almost everyday about a 0.5 mile commute and it started building up condensation and the car would misfire. I worked there for about 2.75 years and I had that problem of misfiring all the time.

It wasn't until I started working 18 miles away where the misfires went away and the car was running like a champ again! This is because the engine got up to nominal temperatures and burned off the remaining condensation.

Fyi for the green people, I rode my bike as often as possible. But I did not in the rain, snow and cold.
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      01-11-2017, 07:31 PM   #22
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No. Do you know how many times the car was designed to be cold started? A shitload. Turning it off then back on won't do anything it's not designed for.
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