Warming up your car's engine is a good practice—but Chevy's latest Vette makes sure you do so
Just because you've hopped into your car on a cold morning, turned the key, and experienced the joy of your engine starting right away doesn't mean the engine's ready to rip. No matter what sort of car you drive, even today's relatively quick-to-start-in-cold-weather vehicles, you'll want to let the engine warm up before stomping the throttle pedal to the floor. The new C8 Corvette, 2020 MotorTrend Car of the Year, is no exception, although Chevy makes sure you baby the sports car's 6.2-liter V-8 until warm.
How? Chevrolet added a soft rev limiter—a not-so-new feature that also found its way into the C7 'Vette—that electronically prevents the engine from spinning too fast, too soon after startup. (Because cold engine oil is significantly thicker than warm oil, and you don't want to add unnecessary strain to your engine by banging it off its rev limiter before it's nice and ready.) Fire up your 2020 C8 Corvette, and until the engine is ready, you won't be able to rev the engine much beyond 3,500 rpm; that's the soft rev limit—the LT2 V-8 gets a hard cut-off at 4,500. Once warm, the engine is free to spin up to its regular 6,500-rpm redline.
You can see the feature in action in this YouTube video, which was taken while the presumptive owner was driving (something we seriously caution against doing, by the way). It shows the soft rev-limiter at 3,500 rpm and hard cut-off at 4,500 displayed on the Corvette's digital tachometer. After a short warm-up period (times may vary based on weather conditions) the digital tachometer switches to display the C8's full redline at 6,500 rpm.
In some cases, the results of not warming up your engine properly can be catastrophic. Take the 2008-2013 BMW M3, for example. Despite having a great, motorsports-derived 4.0-liter V-8, it was prone to rod bearing failure, thanks to rod bearings made of a material that would wear away easily, as well as the oil BMW recommended, which was too viscous. When not warmed up properly (or when the break in period for the engine was cut shut or ignored altogether), the thicker oil would stress the rod bearings, causing them to wear away faster.
You might not think more than once about your engine oil, but you definitely should. So, warm up your engines and respect the rev-limiters that engineers build into your cars—or just go out and buy a 2020 Chevy Corvette, which handles that respect for you.
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