THE Engine Warm Up Mistake

THE Engine Warm Up Mistake
By Don Terrill (c) 2005

There is basically only one warm up mistake: too much RPM, too soon. You've seen these guys in the pits, as soon as the engine starts they're all over the throttle. What are they trying to accomplish? To dislodge a rats nest from the exhaust? What is more likely to be dislodged is a Connecting Rod from the Crank.

There is absolutely NO reason to rev the engine like this, except during the race.

Excuse & Cure:
  • If you're trying to "clear it out" – Tune the carb so the engine is clean at idle.
  • If you're trying to "put some heat in the engine" – Don't waste your time, heat comes from load and there is no load in neutral or park.
  • If you just enjoy revving the engine – Fine, I respect that, it's the only reason you should be doing it because there are no benefits.
Other potential warm up mistakes:
  • Wrong oil – Still running straight 50w oil? You may want to spend some time on the Bob is the Oil Guy website
  • Cold oil – It's near impossible to get engine oil hot without extended periods of heavy load – idling in the pits will never do it. If you're serious about keeping your engine together, you need an oil heater – attached to either the oil pan or oil tank.
  • No thermostat – The object is to get the engine to operating temperature as fast as possible without having to beat the crap out of it. A Thermostat will dramatically shorten coolant warm up times.
So, the next time someone asks you why you're revving the engine in the pits, give them the only honest answer – you just enjoy it.

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