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Old 04-22-2009, 01:50 PM   #1
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Engine warmup and short distance dilemma.

Greetings everyone.

My new part-time job makes me drive a 1.62 miles distance from home. There's one traffic light about halfway the trip and a climb up followed by a climb down, both with the same length. The problem about this is that the distance is too short and the engine cannot reach its normal running temperature, no matter how hot is the outside air.

On the other hand, there's an alternative way: a 3.98 miles road with about 2 miles of freeway and then the engine can reach the optimal temperature way before I get to work.

I've been choosing the longer way when the engine is cold and the short way when the engine is already warm.

In terms of hypermiling and/or engine wear what would be your suggestions? Is it worth to always choose the short way no matter the initial temperature of the engine?

Thank you.
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Old 04-22-2009, 01:56 PM   #2
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Warmup isn't THAT important. You would have to get double the fuel economy for the longer trip to pay off. You'll almost certainly save fuel by taking the shorter route and accepting that the engine won't warm up.

For engine wear, it would make sense to use an accelerated maintenance schedule, with oil changes closer together and using better oil. If you went the longer distance instead, your service interval could be longer (in miles) but you'd still do it as often (in months) anyway.
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:44 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, either trip puts you at the frequent oil changes. It is only recommended to use the longer change interval if you engine runs, at minimum, 7 miles one way.
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:59 PM   #4
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Would using an engine heater mitigate the problem?
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:05 PM   #5
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I was thinking even more frequent than the usual "severe service" schedule for the ultra-short trip where the engine doesn't warm up.
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Old 04-22-2009, 04:48 PM   #6
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I just changed jobs, orig was 33miles one way now its 6. mpg dropped from 22-24 to 15ish blaa but i'm not filling the tank as much
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:18 PM   #7
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im in a similar dilema with a larger distance. with 1.6 miles i would be riding a bicycle more often
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:49 AM   #8
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1.6 miles? I wouldn't even bother unchaining the bike. Sounds like a good walk, and much better for your car.
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:42 AM   #9
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couldn't you also get an insurance rate reduction if you walked to work? one of the questions that they ask you is how far you commute to work.

I know you aren't in the US but that may apply everywhere.

walking to work would be awesome as long as traffic didn't mow you down.
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:03 AM   #10
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bike or walk and if that doesnt work, get a block/coolant heater. put it on a timer, it only needs about an hour.
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