How long should I let the N* warm up in the morning?
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, How long should I let the N* warm up in the morning? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Winter is coming! This is my first winter with a cadillac that I care about and I would like to ...
  1. #1
    fleishman is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    How long should I let the N* warm up in the morning?

    Winter is coming!

    This is my first winter with a cadillac that I care about and I would like to give it ample time to warm up before I put it in gear and drive off to work.

    I live on a pretty long dead end road, so what I have been doing is letting it warm up as I coast to the end of the street, but its not even cold out yet.

    It is currently about 50* in the mornings but it will very soon be 40*..30*..20* ( I live in MAINE BRRRR)

    My diagnostic panel doesnt display engine temp, I just have the gauge on the left.

    How long should I let it idle/how warm should I let it get at different temps before I can feel comfortable driving.

    Should I change oil viscosity for the colder weather?

    And I will start another thread, but anyone have an aftermarket/factory remote starter in a 97 SLS?

    Thanks !

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  3. #2
    ted tcb's Avatar
    ted tcb is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: How long should I let the N* warm up in the morning?

    The "Guru" used to say that warming up the Northstar motor was a complete waste of fossil fuels.
    I let mine warm up for a few minutes to get the heat going, but if a Cadillac engineer tells me not
    to warm it up, that's good enough for me.
    I run 5W30 all year long with no change in winter consumption, and it gets cold up here in central Ontario.

  4. #3
    smooththg6969's Avatar
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    Re: How long should I let the N* warm up in the morning?

    from what I have heard you dont really need to let the engine sit and warm up since its computer controlled there made to drive off as soon as you crank it up. I dont know if the cold weather makes it different (someone correct me if im wrong). as for oil I think a thinner oil would help in colder weather as it doesent get as thick when cold. but what do I know I stay in sunny south florida.

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    fubar569 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: How long should I let the N* warm up in the morning?

    your oil should be fine...but for piece of mind or continued driving 5w oil is spec'd in the manual for certain conditions...make sure you meet those guidelines first...

    i let my 97 warm up for...as long as it takes for me to get it in gear and start to ease into the throttle...i avoid romps for about the first 5 minutes though

  6. #5
    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: How long should I let the N* warm up in the morning?

    '97 is spec'd for 10W30 (I still use it in all the cars in my family in spite of the 5W30 spec). No need to change to anything else.

    No need to warm it up. These are not 1950's engines.

  7. #6
    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: How long should I let the N* warm up in the morning?

    I used to live in a cold climate, and on one particularly cold day (-10F or there abouts) the starter struggled to get the engine started with the thickness of the molasses oil... I thought it was going to kick back and snap the starter in half. (Like how if you pull a mower starter handle too slowly it kicks back)

    It did start. I gave it 30 seconds before driving off.

    20 degrees is nothing. I would NOT go WOT until the oil warmed up however.

  8. #7
    dkozloski's Avatar
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    Re: How long should I let the N* warm up in the morning?

    The Northstar engine is designed to start at -27F without preheat. After being forced to life at -40F you can go immediately to wide open throttle and it will run smoothly. That's what it was designed to do. That being said, it is wise to use the factory block heater in subzero weather, let the engine run for a minute or so, and drive off at a moderate speed. By the time the flat spots work out of the tires you'll be getting heat from the heater. Prolonged idling is bad news. A remote starter is a plus if used wisely. Advice from 65 degrees North Latitude.
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    Tommy Deville's Avatar
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    Re: How long should I let the N* warm up in the morning?

    mY SELF PERSONALLY IN THE 3 N* I'VE HAD I give it about 30 to 45 seconds, than go

  10. #9
    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: How long should I let the N* warm up in the morning?

    Quote Originally Posted by dkozloski View Post
    After being forced to life at -40F you can go immediately to wide open throttle and it will run smoothly.

    It may run smoothly, but you'll wear it down quicker.

    Oil viscosity is going to be high. This means thin oil galleries won't be getting the flow they would be if the oil was warmed up.

    Clearances will be larger as well.

  11. #10
    fleishman is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: How long should I let the N* warm up in the morning?

    I'll keep doing what I'm doing then.

    I used to own fords.. I had to let those idle for about a min in the winter before the rpms would drop back down to 800.

  12. #11
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    Re: How long should I let the N* warm up in the morning?

    I wouldn't drive away until the interior temp is at least 75 degrees.

    Just kidding. Hop in, turn on the butt warmer and go!

  13. #12
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, slap in a big stereo
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    Re: How long should I let the N* warm up in the morning?

    fleishman......Start the car, fool with the mirror and radio, set the heat. By then the fast idle will have dropped to 700-900. Drive away moderately and don't get wild for 3-4 miles.

  14. #13
    dkozloski's Avatar
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    Re: How long should I let the N* warm up in the morning?

    Quote Originally Posted by eldorado1 View Post
    It may run smoothly, but you'll wear it down quicker.

    Oil viscosity is going to be high. This means thin oil galleries won't be getting the flow they would be if the oil was warmed up.

    Clearances will be larger as well.
    According to a member of the GM Powertrain Northstar design team, the engine is designed for WOT with an engine temp of -40F and you will not do damage if you're using the recommended lubricants. He did admit that the engine made lots of strange noises when you did it.
    Don't mess with Binky Bear!


  15. #14
    fpmesiIII's Avatar
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    Re: How long should I let the N* warm up in the morning?

    turn the car on, put your seat belt on and go. just keep the RPMs low until the car gets warmed up.

  16. #15
    limoguy is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Smile Re: How long should I let the N* warm up in the morning?

    in the warm weather i start it, let the fluids circulate 15 seconds & go. in the winter i give it a little more time. shes got 120k on her

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