: Cold weather discovery

12-21-11, 01:30 PM
With the onset of cold weather here in Texas...not cold to most of the country, I know...I noticed something which should prolong transmission clutch life.

The engine has a higher idle right after start up, while in "P". It's been more noticeable now that it's colder, but it could happen on all cold starts.

However, if you shift to neutral, just for a couple of seconds, before you select a gear, you'll see the revs drop from about 1,200, or so, to probably just below 1K. It's not much, sure, but that's 200 fewer RPM of speed which is transferred between clutch plates in the transmission.

Slightly less shock to the entire system, too.

Over the course of 7 years, this could add up to a decent amount of time/miles added. Transmission clutches wear only while they're in-use, so slow, 'gentle' shifting transmissions don't last as long.

I'm thinking about having my computer tuned to firm them up a bit. I don't mind feeling them, at all. It ain't a Lexus. :)

Smiling Jack
12-22-11, 10:25 AM
This seemed like a good idea to me, but it did not work in my case.

In Houston it was about 50 F this morning.

My 2006 STS V6 began idling a shade over 1000 rpm in park and did not drop any perceptible rpm when shifted to neutral.

12-22-11, 11:16 AM
I tried it too, '06 V-6; start-up at 1200 rpms, shifted into neutral, no change (until it finished its warm-up).

12-22-11, 11:52 AM

Good data to have, though!

12-22-11, 09:40 PM
Interesting. Here in what many consider a much colder climate, my car will start and then idle at about 1,200 RPM. It only does this for probably 5-10 seconds and then drops down to about 675 RPM. It tends to do this regardless of OAT. This is without even changing from 'Park'.