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Start it. Drive it. Take it easy until the light goes out. Sitting in the driveway waiting for the light to go out only benefits the gas companies.
 

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I wait until the engine begins to smooth out and idle rpm starts coming down. About 20 - 30 secs....
Then drive non-agressively until water temp is about half way from cold to normal. Then, just drive....
 

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I agree - I give it about 30 seconds for the oil to circulate, then I drive it fairly easy until it is warmed up. Engines warm up faster under load. Just take it easy until it is warm. I totally ignore the blue light.
 

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Never sit and let an engine idle on cold start:

1. It wastes fuel.

2. It wastes your time.

3. It is not particularly conducive to enabling the engine to warm up (engine will reach operating temperature faster under load).

Start up; drive.
 

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what they said - just ignore it. pull the bulb if you need to.

a few seconds is good for oil to circulate, anything more is meaningless.

a properly built engine sees no difference in driving lightly or your average driving. given the combustion process and what those parts are doing, that difference is almost negligible.

gasoline engines operate most efficiently in a very narrow RPM range, and they are not optimized to run at low RPM's. so in some sense idling for no reason isn't a good thing for a gasoline engine.

i am not familiar with all aspects of engine break-in for new engines, so consult your owners manual for that, though I don't anticipate any difference there in regards to this question.
 

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Depends.....

It all depends on how cold it is outside.

I treat a "cold-start" at 30 degrees differently than I treat a "cold-start" at 40 below zero - which is 70 degrees colder than 30 degrees above zero (F).

Anyone who would start up a car at 40 below zero and just take off is asking for problems. The tires all have flat spots and the upholstery doesn't give at all, it's like sitting on a board.
 

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+1

In Canada here, it gets pretty cold. The only reason I have ever let any car I have owned warm up, is to have heat in the car when I am ready to go. Even then, I rarely ever do that. When I want to go, I just get in and go.
Just wondering, how cold does it get where you are?
 

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It all depends on how cold it is outside.

I treat a "cold-start
right, we're painting a broad picture. most folks living in extremes are using different weight oils, engine heaters, etc.

so to the original poster if you're living in an extreme environment, do let us know, most of us are assuming you're not living in 120 degree desert or frigid climate.
 

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I always go by:

1. Start your car.
2. Get out and scrape your windows.
3. By the time the windows are clear enough to safely drive, you are good to go.

If you don't need to clear you windows, see above.
 

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I have an anecdotal evidence on how warming up the engine affect its longevity. Many moons ago we had two identical, except color, 1999 3.0L Mercury Sables XL wagons in our family. They both were parked outside under a car port. My brother drove his car the moment its engine starts running, without warming up. I drove my car after a minute or two warming up period depending on the outside temperature. Both cars received exactly the same maintenance, and yearly mileage on both of them was roughly the same. We've always used Castrol synthetic oil in our cars. His engine started to degrade after about five years and finally gave a ghost at about 128K miles. He tried to rebuild his engine but it wasn't worth it. The lobes on the camshafts were too worn out among other wear and tear related problems. So he scrapped the whole car. Mine car died after 13 years of service at well over 250K miles under its wheels. It had broken piston connecting rod and completely worn out suspension and shocks. I sold my dead engine for a rebuild or parts and scrapped the rest. The tech who bought and rebuilt my engine could not believe that it raked up over 250K miles. Everything was in a pretty good condition. He put it in his Ford Taurus. Now I drive '13 3.6R limited OB and hope to beat my previous 250K miles Mercury record :)
 

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I have a 2013 2.5 and it takes a good 5 minutes before that **** cold engine blue light goes away.
If you just start it, and drive off gently, the light will go off in just a couple of minutes. If you live where it is well below freezing, count to ten slowly, then drive off. Below zero, count to thirty slowly. Warming cars up wastes gas, and tends to put stuff in the oil (Unburned gas and water) that doesn't belong there.
 

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I thought that the light was mainly to signify when the paddle shifters would start working?
 

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Just wondering, how cold does it get where you are?
The last couple of years, not that cold, but still down to around -20C to -25C (-4F to -13F)

It can get colder with the windshield, and sometimes, winter is just colder. The last 3 years or so have been very mild with very little snow.
 

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It get's pretty cold here. In the winter I start my vehicle and wait until I can see through the windsheild. I don't plug in until -15. When it's colder than that, I wait for a couple minutes after the the power steering pump stops whining and then go because at idle in -30 it will never warm up.
 

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I gently start driving immediately after starting. No use wasting expensive gas.
 

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right, we're painting a broad picture. most folks living in extremes are using different weight oils, engine heaters, etc.

so to the original poster if you're living in an extreme environment, do let us know, most of us are assuming you're not living in 120 degree desert or frigid climate.
EXACTLY.
And, I have seen differences within just several miles from where I live where it can be up to about 15 degrees colder than where we are, in a valley, near a river, or it can be 15 degrees warmer than where we are. I have found that, the lower the outside temperature, the more variance there is from one small town to the next!

The coldest I have ever seen it was 50 degrees below zero, in the early 80s in Concord, Vermont. It was -50(F) at our place, however, in the next large town of Saint Johnsbury, they may have seen it no colder than -30(F).

At 50 below zero (F), even with the engine block heater plugged in for at least six hours ahead of time, the vehicle barely wants to start. Typically, once they do fire, they will fire right up - that is, IF you have put isopropyl dry gas in the gas tank. At any temperature below zero (F), I leave the block heater plugged in while I'm warming up the engine, which assists in warming the interior.

When it is frigid-cold, you actually burn your hands on the steering wheel! For someone to say they just get in and start driving is ridiculous. What method does one use to hold the hard-plastic steering wheel if it's too cold to touch?

To me, starting to drive a vehicle that cold is abusing the vehicle, i.e., pushing it beyond the limits for which it was designed! Even the windshield washer antifreeze is frozen at that temperature. You also have to be very gentle with things as knobs don't like to turn at fifty below and any pushing of things to try to make them work ends up in having whatever it is breaking very easily. For that reason alone, I warm up the vehicle first. Sure, I use some gas, however, if I have to replace something like the heater control in the dash, the money I would have to spend on parts plus labor would be many times more expensive than any fuel I happen to be using.

I know someone who had their key out and just as they touched the door lock to unlock the driver door, the key broke right at the exterior of the lock tumbler. They said it was so cold out that was the only thing that could explain metal breaking like that without any effort on my friend's part, not even putting any pressure on the key and didn't even start turning it yet!

I used to have a pickup truck I purchased brand new, at those cold temperatures, with the heat up high and with cardboard covering the front of the entire radiator, the inside heater couldn't keep up with the cold, so the windows would all have frozen condensation on the interior, how safe is that?
 
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