Warming up the engine: myth or necessity?
Not only regular slogans, but also many car manufacturers claim that an internal combustion engine no longer needs to be carefully brought to operating temperature. While the regulars’ slogans usually have no justification for this claim, car manufacturers justify it with the high manufacturing standards with which engines are manufactured and the choice of materials. But if you want something from your engine for a long time, you shouldn’t listen to it. Every engine should be warmed up for the following reasons in order to minimize wear.
Cold engine oil
But even modern engine oils cannot overcome one hurdle: With a cold start, it takes a little longer for the oil to be pumped from the oil pan to the bearings and lubrication points of the engine and turbocharger. If you accelerate immediately after starting, you risk insufficient lubrication on important components. The result: greater wear and tear, and in the worst case there is even a risk of engine damage. Of course, this also applies to cold starts in summer, but especially in winter temperatures. A tip: first start the engine, then buckle up.
Temperature differences in the engine
Increased wear on pistons and cylinder walls
Stress cracks and leaks
Another cause of stress cracks can be the selective generation of heat. The easiest way to explain this is with the example of the cylinder head. As a result of the combustion, the cylinder head at the combustion chamber warms up more quickly, while the rest of the cylinder head is flushed through by the still cold cooling water. The same applies here: a cylinder head can withstand this at lower temperatures and low loads. However, if you turn up the engine when it is cold, there are a lot more burns in a shorter time. This makes the area around the combustion chamber much hotter faster, while the rest of the cylinder head is still quite cold. These high temperature differences can lead to material fatigue and stress cracks in the cylinder head in the long term.
Warm up the engine gently
Prohibited and harmful: let the engine warm up
However, if you make sure that you start the engine first in the morning and then buckle up and handle your engine carefully when it is cold, the wear and tear should be limited and you will have fun with your car for a long time.