Edmunds Answers

Voted Best Answer

  • avatar Stever@Edmunds 11/18/09 6:24 pm PST

    I lived in Anchorage for 20 years without a garage. I had a Tercel for 17 of those years (only sold it because we moved).

    If the temps were around 10°F, I'd plug my block heater in and then turn it on at my switched outlet while I made my morning coffee and let that work for an hour.

    Otherwise, I'd just crank it and ease out of my subdivision. I'd take it slow the first half mile or so, but nothing special.

    I've read that excessive idling can clog up a catalytic converter, but mostly it was my experience that my cars would warm up faster if I just got in them and drove off. A block heater warms the oil and helps the engine start, and can help with emission issues, but I don't think it has much affect on the transmission or other cold parts.

    For really frosty days, I had an auxiliary dash heater that I'd use to clear the windshield.

Answers

  • Stever@Edmunds 11/18/09 6:24 pm PST

    I lived in Anchorage for 20 years without a garage. I had a Tercel for 17 of those years (only sold it because we moved).

    If the temps were around 10°F, I'd plug my block heater in and then turn it on at my switched outlet while I made my morning coffee and let that work for an hour.

    Otherwise, I'd just crank it and ease out of my subdivision. I'd take it slow the first half mile or so, but nothing special.

    I've read that excessive idling can clog up a catalytic converter, but mostly it was my experience that my cars would warm up faster if I just got in them and drove off. A block heater warms the oil and helps the engine start, and can help with emission issues, but I don't think it has much affect on the transmission or other cold parts.

    For really frosty days, I had an auxiliary dash heater that I'd use to clear the windshield.

  • isellhondas 11/18/09 6:48 pm PST

    When I used to travel to Alaska on business trips, I thought Anchorage had a tropical climate after leaving Fairbanks!

    I think your advise is sound. I let my cars warm up for a minute or so then I take it easy for the first half mile.

  • morin2 11/18/09 10:33 pm PST

    My general rule is to warm it long enough for the automatic choke to do its thing and for the engine rpms to drop into the normal idle area, or close to it. Then easy driving for about a mile out to the main road to warm up the engine. The 4 cyl. engine warms up pretty quickly. It takes seemingly forever with a big v-8.

ADVERTISEMENT

Top Safe Driving Winter Driving Experts View More

Rank Leader Points
1. MrShift@Edmunds 580
2. karjunkie 505
3. morin2 310
4. Stever@Edmunds 285
5. texases 270
6. zaken1 225
7. canddmeyer 140
ADVERTISEMENT