Winter is around the corner for me in Northern Virginia and we get some moderate snow and cold temperates. Question is: is it a good idea to warm up the car or is it safe to drive right after starting up?
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Not sure what the manual states for the RX but it advises against running the engine for warm up purposes on the LS. I get in and go but avoid moderate to heavy throttle before the temperature needle moves at least a third of the way away from the bottom.
If your vehicle is missing one, check with the dealer or even call Lexus USA.
What does warm up mean:
Bring all lubricants to condition where they flow or provide lubrication.
With modern lubricants and oil weights this is not a problem. The transmission only gets heated up when you drive.
Bring the cabin temp to comfort zone.
This is what I see most owners try to do with remote starters etc. Keep in mind the pollution it creates [suv ... sarcasm]. Lets not make the situation worse.
Bring the engine to operating temp for optimal performance.
This is the only engineering reason to warm up. Interestingly, the engine and the other components down to tires warm up quicker when the vehicle is driven.
Net: It is best to start and wait a fraction of minute to get the pumps etc to circulate oil. [Just enough time to confirm every one is in belt and the all gauges show OK]. Then drive slowly and remain below 3krpm till the temp gauge indicates normal operating temperature.
Note: RX will keep you in low gear to help warm up quicker. So pay attention to the rpms.
If any one is new to Lexus, the engineers have figured almost every-thing out for climate control. Leave the thing on auto and it does every thing .. recirc, fan speed etc. There are always exceptions but those guys have the system designed almost perfect.