About years ago I moved from Boston to Florida to...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Feb 01, 1994

Dear Tom and Ray:

About 20 years ago I moved from Boston to Florida to escape the cold. When I lived up north, I would always rev my engine a bit before starting out. Now that I'm in Florida, I have always felt that it was unnecessary. I usually roll out of the driveway, drop it into gear, and slowly bring it up to cruising speed over two or three miles. Recently I retired, and can sleep a little later. Meanwhile, the house next door has been turned into a boarding house. Every morning, starting at 5:45 am, a string of occupants leaves the house. Since their driveway immediately abuts my bedroom window, I am awakened over and over by the following scenario. Each tennant starts up his or her car, and revs it for five minutes before leaving for work. Is this really necessary in a warm climate? Or am I right in simply driving off? If I'm right, I'll show them your answer. If I'm wrong, I don't know what I'll do.

TOM: If you were wrong, you'd probably have to move, Ed. Or at least change bedrooms. But you're not wrong. You're absolutely right.

RAY: We recently wrote a pamphlet called "Ten Ways You May Be Ruining Your Car Without Even Knowing It" (by the way, if you haven't ordered yours, send $3 to Ruin #1...). And guess what? Warming up your car is one of the Ten Ways!

TOM: And revving the engine as soon as it starts is ANOTHER of the Ten Ways to ruin your car.

RAY: Except for extremely cold conditions (like below 10??-15??F), you should just start the car, and drive gently for the first couple of miles. That's the best way to warm up the car.

TOM: So be a good neighbor, Ed, and buy each of these tenants a copy of our pamphlet. It'll explain to them exactly why these things are harmful. They'll be so grateful to you for saving their engines that they might even start inviting you to those all-night toga parties they've been having.

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