Warm-up procedures when starting from a cold start?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by petefan4000, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. petefan4000

    petefan4000 Light Load Member

    Dec 2, 2020
    What do you guys do to warm up your engines from a cold start?

    My idea is to start it up, run for about 30 seconds to build oil pressure, then high idle at 1200 RPM until the coolant gets up to temperature. Back to low idle and take off.

    And for cooling it down, I would run at 1200 RPM for 2 and a half minutes, then low idle for 2 and a half minutes
    aussiejosh Thanks this.
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  3. ProfessionalNoticer

    ProfessionalNoticer Heavy Load Member

    Apr 25, 2021
    I do literally nothing. I start it (holding the clutch in to make it easier for my starter), pretrip, paperwork, and off I go.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  4. Cat sdp

    Cat sdp . .

    Apr 8, 2012
    Orion's Belt
    Depends on outside temperature…. In the summertime not so much , just take it easy till everything is up to temp. In the winter sometimes it runs on high idle all night…..:)
  5. ZVar

    ZVar Road Train Member

    Sep 10, 2010
    Flint, MI
    In a modern truck you'd likely do more damage doing that. Just start it and by the time you get it in gear it's built the oil pressure and coolant movement needed.
    Yes the damage done is tiny but it adds up....
  6. Brandt

    Brandt Road Train Member

    Sep 17, 2012
    I would always give 3 minutes at cool down and if engine still warm try and give it 3 minutes to get oil on everything. I think Detroit Diesel say just the 3 minutes on both ends it all you really need. If cold I usually idle up to warm engine oil some.or get the coolant to show something like 120+.

    My truck now has the coolant heater and it keeps engine at 150 for sleeper heat when parked overnight. So it ready to go first thing in the morning. Just idle 3 minutes and go.
    feldsforever Thanks this.
  7. abyliks

    abyliks Road Train Member

    May 2, 2010
    ludlow MA
    Low idle for 15-20 seconds, bump to 900 until coolant hits 125*, put her in parade mode and creep down the drive way, usually about 140* by then

    pyro to 350 to shut off, usually 30 seconds after idling back around the lot/drive way

    other then first cold start and cool down I always bump the idle no matter how long/short I’ll be there
    LoneRanger, bzinger, Oxbow and 2 others Thank this.
  8. beastr123

    beastr123 Road Train Member

    Jan 2, 2014
    Moose Jaw SK CAN
    With todays engines as long as you have oil pressure you are good to go. a rule I was taught (many years ago) that I followed right through my career was make note of the highest oil pressure at 1000rpm right after start and that you can move when the water temp does but you only bring the rpms up to bring the oil pressure to that startup/1000rpm pressure then shift until you can't get there with full throttle.
    I found that at freezing temp you will sit 4 to 5 min to get the coolant temp to move(almost enough for a quick pre-trip) and you will be up to speed on the highway in less than a mile depending on gross weight.
    I have not found a mechanic that finds fault with this.
    As far as cooldown 3 to 5 min from pull-in (low to idle speed) 1 to 2 min after parking or starting fuel-up is all that is needed. You need time for the turbo to slow and cool a bit to prevent coking the bearings, if you have a pyrometer give it 30 to 45 secs from dropping below 350* (the coking temp of modern oils).
  9. Diesel Dave

    Diesel Dave Last Few of the OUTLAWS

    Jan 20, 2010
    Hesperia, Ca.
    On my ISX 15, after I fired it up, I do my pre trip and do my paperwork, the temperature is already up to 140*, if I have to do a few other things, I keep up the idle, basically right about at 10 minutes I’m driving out. If I ever idle, I always kick it up period. Cool down after done for the day; kick up idle about 5 minutes, then let it idle about 1 minute or so… shut down time.
    bzinger Thanks this.
  10. jason6541

    jason6541 Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    I start mine after 5 min in gear and easing down the road for a few miles to get up to temp. Even at -20 below I don’t idle.
    Cool down I roll thru parking lot at 5 mph
    As soon as I set brakes it’s shut off. The few min idling thru lot is enough to cool down. DD15
    feldsforever and bzinger Thank this.
  11. Studebaker Hawk

    Studebaker Hawk Road Train Member

    Oct 18, 2010
    NW Indiana
    Some time ago I asked a Detroit Diesel engineer who was manning the booth at the Louisville Truck Show this same question. His response:

    We would like to see some movement in the temperature gauge. You can drive after that, but drive it gently until not only the engine temp is where it belongs, but allowing all of the other rotating parts to come up to proper clearances.

    I followed his advice with the truck you see on the left. 1 million on the first engine, replaced early because that is how I maintain things. 2 million miles I sold the truck, it is still on the road and working. Never got into the transmission or rears, just an occasional seal. 2 clutches.
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