How to properly warm up a TDI

Smarten101

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Location
Kalispell, MT
TDI
2005 Passat wagon
I just finished reading some information on getting better mileage and oilhammer had a post about starting his car and immediately driving it above 2500 RPMs to help it warm up faster. I have always heard that you are supposed to let an engine idle to warm up and NOT drive it until it is warm.
So which is it? Are you supposed to start her up and drive off or let it sit and warm up before you move it?
 

eddieleephd

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Joined
May 27, 2012
Location
Asheville, NC
TDI
2002 jetta Wagon
A TDI will not warm up for quite a while sitting in the driveway.
I'm not going to say to drive it hard immediately. I personally let it sit for a good few seconds maybe a minute or two depending on how cold it is I might let it sit there for five. Then I drive it calmly until it is at operating temperature and heck drive it like you stole it after that.

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Owain@malonetuning

Associate Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Location
Vancouver
TDI
335d, 05 jetta wagon, 84 jetta td
best not to idle to warm up, in a cold climate (0f or so) it will not get up to temp and is going to burn 700mL/hr or so. This will glaze the cylinder walls very gradually, maybe it'll be at 350k miles instead of 500k miles, we're talking very very gradual.

I personally idle for a couple of minutes on a cold start, just enough to scrap the ice/brush snow, drive lightly above 2000rpm until the temp gauge starts moving, and then start driving a bit more aggressively/care less about rpm. Gauge may read 90C when it's actually 75c, try not to drive flat out until gauge is getting towards operating temp but if you're only making stock power it shouldn't be a problem.

Everyone has a different opinion on this and nobody's 100% correct



The best way is to pick up a smart socket and a block heater and then tie it to your cell phone so you can schedule your car to warm up before you leave for work, or just press a button to turn it on. That way you never have a cold start.
 
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miningman

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2007
Location
alberta
TDI
2003 Golf
Given the number of times this has been asked and answered on this forum, I'm surprised and disappointed the question is still being asked. Start it , put on your seat belt, adjust your radio and climate control settings , and pull away immediately
 

eddieleephd

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Joined
May 27, 2012
Location
Asheville, NC
TDI
2002 jetta Wagon
^^^Owain's in Canada and a reputable tuner^^^

Really, all modern vehicle's are let it idle a few and go. With present manufacturing tolerances and synthetic oils combined with a desire to reduce emissions, gone are there days off letting it sit and idle to warm up.
Coolant and block heaters are available if you live in a cold enough climate and will eliminate cold starts as Owain mentioned above. These become more beneficial when the climates become colder. In the southern United States they're not too beneficial. Once you get into Sub-Zero temperatures they become highly beneficial, although not a requirement.

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scooperhsd

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Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Location
Kansas City KS
TDI
NB, 2000, RED(5 Speed conversion) 2015 Golf SE
I wouldn't idle a TDI any longer than about 30 sec - 1 minute while I'm getting ready to go. Then drive gently (not too hard, but not too gentle either) until I'm up to normal operating temps.


Idling to get it warm - it will take forever (if the outside temp is warm enough - and if it's cold enough it never will warm up). THis is more on my 2000 NB ALH with an RC2 tune - the 2015 doesn't quite react the same, but I still wouldn't let it sit idle for very long.
 

Smarten101

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Location
Kalispell, MT
TDI
2005 Passat wagon
I know the question makes me sound like a complete noob. Maybe I'm just stuck in an 'old school' train of thought. I always just remember hearing that you should warm it up first. Well I guess it's never too late for this old dog to learn new tricks. Thanks for the info, guys. It doesn't stay super cold up here all winter, but it isn't uncommon for us to see -30* F through the winter. when it's that cold, it's hard for ANYTHING to warm up :)
Owain: I like your idea of a smart plug for the frost heater. that should make things this winter a little more convenient.
 

JB05

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Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Location
Il.USA
TDI
Golf,2005,anthracite blue
At -30 I would let it idle for a couple of minutes at least. Otherwise it's only half a minute.
 

fouillard13

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Joined
Oct 8, 2012
Location
Pincher Creek, AB
TDI
03 Jetta TDI Standard
^^^Owain's in Canada and a reputable tuner^^^
hes in vancouver... he doesnt know what cold is haha!!

ive had a few -35 starts, not plugged in (thanks super 8 hotel).

I let it idle for about a minute, until it didnt sound like rocks in a beer can while I scraped the windshield. then drove very nicely in town at 2nd gear max. within 1.2km it was already blowing wam-ish air with 60 seconds idle time at -35 and 1km of 2nd gear driving. my roomate will let his 6.7 cummins idle for 30 fking minutes, he just doesnt get it.

a light load will warm it up very quick whereas idiling will actually cool it down if its at full temp. TDIs are very efficient.


also, get a new thermostat!!!! seriously. its $30 and so easy to replace. those are life changers to the warm up game we play all winter.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
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Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
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'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
Start it , put on your seat belt, adjust your radio and climate control settings , and pull away immediately
This. And contrary to what you've read, I'd keep revs at a reasonable level (say, under 2000 RPMs) until the temp gauge moves off the peg.
 

Andyinchville1

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Location
Virginia
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI wagon, 5 sp, 226K miles
Hi

I get in, start car, put on seat belt, organize stuff (food if eating while driving, plug in phone to car charger, etc)
Then pull off gently...

I usually stay in first gear running light throttle up to 1500 rpm or so for a bit (no traffic obviously) .... say a tenth or 2 tenths of a mile then use second (shifting at about 2300 rpm and running second up to about 1600 to 1700 rpm for a bit ... maybe a tenth it 2 thenths if a mile then i drive like normal .... i would not put a high load on the engine until its warmed up ... on the other hand dont rev high either ... i keep rpm below 2200 rpm or so and low load until stuff warms up...

I live in va so not super cold around here .... ususlly a week or so in the teens and maybe a few days in single digits ( more likely wind chill than actual temp)...

I suggest grill blocks and intercooler blocks in winter ... i have done this and it helos warm up and staying warm ... i do have a scan gauge to keep an eye on things tho ....
 
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Owain@malonetuning

Associate Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Location
Vancouver
TDI
335d, 05 jetta wagon, 84 jetta td
hes in vancouver... he doesnt know what cold is haha!!
We may have palm trees and no snow, been a few years since I had a cold start haha. Grew up on the east coast and had a couple IDIs, still not as cold as Canada's texas though :p


cardboard over the rad goes a long way.
 

jokila

Vendor
Joined
Dec 3, 2004
Location
Houston, Texas
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS, Manual
I read this from DrivbiWire many ago and have kept this in mind for startups:

Updated 10/2012
New generation TDI's with Common Rail/DPF/SCR and those with DSG transmissions


Rules that apply for the life of the car
-When the engine is cold (below the first 3 white marks at the base of the temp gage) rev the engine to at least 2,500 rpms.
-When the engine is warmed up (above the first three white marks) Rev the engine to no less than 3,000 rpms.

The reason for this is to keep the turbo on boost, clear the VNT guide vanes and apply firm pressure to the rings for optimal sealing against blow-by gasses. The rings need the boost to seal since its a turbo charged engine, babying the engine is detrimental and will lead to issues with compression if done so for very long.

-Keep rpms as close to 2000 rpm as possible when driving at a steady speed. This promotes optimum temperatures for the DPF and keeps the engine in the middle of its most efficient rpm range (1800-2200 rpm).
-Allow the DSG or automatic transmission to determine the optimal gear and engine rpm. It knows better than you... Provided you have it trained to be biased to the sport mode the engines shift points will occur at the ideal ranges.



Older model TDI's 96-2005

Rules that apply for the life of the car
-When the engine is cold (below the first 3 white marks at the base of the temp gage) rev the engine to at least 2,500 rpms.
-When the engine is warmed up (above the first three white marks) Rev the engine to no less than 3,000 rpms.

The reason for this is to keep the turbo on boost, clear the VNT guide vanes and apply firm pressure to the rings for optimal sealing against blow-by gasses. The rings need the boost to seal since its a turbo charged engine, babying the engine is detrimental and will lead to issues with compression if done so for very long.
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
Reading that you can see the older and newer advice is a copy/paste, largely. I wouldn't pay much attention to that advice.
 

turbobrick240

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Nov 18, 2014
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maine
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2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
I knew a guy who would warm up his older 5 series bmw with the pedal to the floor. It warmed up fast, but he only got two winters out of it.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
These cars really aren't that much different from gassers. Besides not letting them idle to warm up, you can treat them like any other engine.
 

scooperhsd

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Location
Kansas City KS
TDI
NB, 2000, RED(5 Speed conversion) 2015 Golf SE
These cars really aren't that much different from gassers. Besides not letting them idle to warm up, you can treat them like any other engine.



Yes - with the correct oil in them, the oil will be everywhere it needs to be within 15 seconds (even at -40). Idle long enough to get most of the roughness out and all cylinders firing and go....
 

Mongler98

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Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
COLORADO (SE of Denver)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress) I moved so now i got nothing but an AHU in a garage on a pallet.
2 things
it will not warm up if you dont drive it and the turbo wears MORE at idle than when operating at pressure, has to do with how it sits against the journal bearing.

all you need to know is that you want to change the oil before it starts getting cold. keep up with it, 10K miles between oil changes, 6K if its that cold still but its probably unnecessary.

Start it up and drive it after you get your seatbelt on and adjust the mirrors.
dont bother with babying it at all, just don't drive it hard until warm. Drive normally.
 

fouillard13

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2012
Location
Pincher Creek, AB
TDI
03 Jetta TDI Standard
all you need to know is that you want to change the oil before it starts getting cold. keep up with it, 10K miles between oil changes, 6K if its that cold still but its probably unnecessary.

Start it up and drive it after you get your seatbelt on and adjust the mirrors.
dont bother with babying it at all, just don't drive it hard until warm.
1. are you saying to put in fresh oil before winter, or different oil before winter? is old oil in the cold harder than fresh oil in the cold?

2. why are you guys needing to adjust your mirrors every time you get in the vehicle?? I adjusted my mirrors once in 2016 when I bought the car and havnt touched em since....
 

Giberish33

Veteran Member
Joined
May 30, 2017
Location
Montreal, Qc
TDI
1997 Jetta TDi 1z
1. are you saying to put in fresh oil before winter, or different oil before winter? is old oil in the cold harder than fresh oil in the cold?

2. why are you guys needing to adjust your mirrors every time you get in the vehicle?? I adjusted my mirrors once in 2016 when I bought the car and havnt touched em since....
lol I adjust my mirrors at every red light, gotta keep them optimally aimed /s

Fresh oil will flow faster / better when its new than when its soot loaded so yeah same oil just fresh oil before winter is the best case scenario.
 

fouillard13

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2012
Location
Pincher Creek, AB
TDI
03 Jetta TDI Standard
hmm, interesting. I didnt know that. im about 60-70% due for an oil change and its going to start getting cold soon here. maybe ill dump it a bit early so I got fresh stuff for the winter.


thanks.
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
COLORADO (SE of Denver)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress) I moved so now i got nothing but an AHU in a garage on a pallet.
you guys must be the only drivers of said car. wife and i share our daily, mirrors get adjusted ALL THE TIME
 

vwexpress

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2019
Location
Davenport FL
TDI
2015 Golf Sport Wagon
Without starting a new thread, about idling, I idle my car a lot. Is that hurting this little diesel? In hot weather, during lunch, often an hour straight, just sitting there.

I don't adjust the mirrors much.
 

red16vdub

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Joined
Aug 26, 2013
Location
(617) City of CHAMPIONS
TDI
03 JSW 5spd
Just sitting and idling is not great for the TDI.


I don’t see any evidence idling hurts Tdi’s.
I usually get to work an hour and half early to beat traffic, so that means I idle until it’s time to start my shift, weather it running AC or heater . I’ve been doing it’s for years and Other than hurting the O-Zone maybe,I don’t see the problem.


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