9 years ago

Optimal Engine Operation Temperature

Optimal Engine Operation Temperature

I let my engine warm completely to operating temp before turning it off, even if my drive is six blocks – I will leave it running (locked of course) until it reaches optimal operating temp.
Why? I read about guys having problems with excessive moisture in their engine block and it causing a lot of wear and tear, not to mention mechanic repairs. I always thought it was due to worn gaskets letting moisture in until one day it dawned on me that all engines that start are typically cold and in the process of warming something up from cold to hot causes – condensation… Bad thing for an engine…
So, I started letting my cars warm up to operating temp so all the condensation is evaporated and re-condensed as it exits the tail pipe. This essentially lets the engine get to normal temp and that temp is hot enough to burn water into vapor and pushing it out of the block.

However, I never knew if this was 100% true.

Short trips of less than 10 minutes can be particularly hard on a car, resulting in excessive wear and tear. During a short trip, your car’s engine never has a chance to reach its full operating temperature. So what? Here’s why it matters: One of the byproducts of engine combustion is water. When an engine reaches its operating temperature that water turns to vapor and is expunged, either out the tailpipe or the crankcase ventilation system. On a short trip, however, that water stays inside your car’s engine and exhaust. Unfortunately, water is one of only three ingredients necessary to make rust (you’ve already got the other two, oxygen and metal), and rust kills. Look at any of my brother’s cars. A further complication of condensation and water is that it dilutes your oil, which then does a poorer job of lubricating the engine. If you can’t avoid taking lots of short trips, we recommend you change your oil frequently, such as every 2,000-3,000 miles.Cars.com

There you have it.

Improve the longevity of your auto’s engine by allowing it to ALWAYS warm up to operating temp.

This post was last modified on January 11, 2015 - learn more.

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