In the cold of South Dakota I typically get in and buckle up, start the car, push the garage door opener button and as soon as it opens up begin coasting down the driveway and gently accelerate down the road.
Essentially ~5-15 seconds of no-load warm-up time.
This morning it was ~40 in my garage and ~10 outside, and I will continue this through the whole winter.
yea having a garage rocks! Too bad mine is filled with the kids stuff and junk! I still ponder getting a coolant heater for my Jetta TDI. Not too expensive and would be nice to have heat sooner than just before I get to work. I think puting it on a timer so it came on a hour before i leave to warm up things. I just would have to remember to unplug it! LOL!.
..a garage is a definite plus (moreso a clean garage..i'm in the same boat as VWJunky minus the kids..just my junk in there..hehe)..but i'm definitely working myself up to a garage cleanup/toss-out, especially since it eliminates ice/defrost, which we get even down here in TEXus (a couple-a times a year, at least!)..
..the garaging thingy should be posted on the Tips portion of Fuelly, which for whatever reason i'm not able to add to (maybe `cause my ideas are all bad, i'll admit the possibility..heh!)..
Put a remote start on your vehicle and you'll find yourself disregarding everything you know and believe about warming up your car. I am pretty good about it usually, but when that first cold snap hits... five to ten minute warm ups!! You just can't beat sitting down in a warm car that you didn't have to scrape when it is 20 degrees outside. I know how it kills mileage, but once it drops below 30, it's on!
As far as I am concerned, the difference is the ambient temperature. I would dare anyone to try driving their car, even very slowly, without thoroughly warming it up in sub-zero temperatures. I guarantee that the vehicle will not last. Synthetic motor oil helps lots, but there is also the matter of (automatic) transmission fluids being too thick to operate properly, and the strain that driving puts on an engine and transmission when differential lubricants are cold and stiff. Not to mention safety factors: the inability to deal with frost on the windshield (because the driver is expelling warm, moist breath) being one.
Again, talking about sub-zero or near sub-zero temps here... Avoid use "always" or "never" when giving advice, because there are variables that will change answers.
sub-zero is not used for most of the USA so that would be an exception to the rule. If you live in the artic you are in a whole different ball park and you know what to do to cars up there. I think some places have to keep the car going all the time just to keep it from freezing up. I know there has been lots of research on the subject from the military stand point. I think Always and Never is a tounge and cheek thing anyway as each car and its driver are different and where they live. I went to the Manila in the Phillippines in November and people were wearing coats at night when it was 85 deg. F. ! I was sweating! LOL! I know alot of people in the norther states most with Garages and they actually use them to keep there car in them for the winter. Also keeping lighter oil and other cold winter fluids is a must. My car would not warm up in the artic without help sitting at idle. I would have to at least have a coolent heater or oil heater to even want it up there. This is all friendly advice so please don't take it to heart with the ALway and never thing.