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So I’m in a debate with friends and family alike… and I need some input. Are idle warm ups still relevant with our Skyactiv motors? If so, at what temp (outside) do I need to do so, or can bypass it?

I can tell a distinct difference in the way she drives and feels if I have let her warm up for a few minutes before driving, versus not. Even when she read 45°F tonight, she was rough and shaky since I did not let her warm up tonight. I’m terrified that the oil is too cold and think, not going where it is needed, and causing the pistons to catch along the walls of their chambers…. 😭😭

I’m tempted to call someone official with Mazda to find out the limits/specs in this… curious of outside input though!! Kudos for resource links and verifiable stats!
 

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2020 CX-5 GT 2.5L 2011 3i 2.0L
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.... Even when she read 45°F tonight, she was rough and shaky since I did not let her warm up tonight. ...
Your vehicle should not run 'rough and shaky', regardless of the ambient temp, or the warm up time either. So you need to find out why that's happening, and the first thing I'd recommend is a bottle of Techron Complete Fuel System Cleaner added at your next fill-up. Also, did you change spark plugs somewhere around the specified mileage (if the mileage is high enough to do so)?

AFA idling time before starting to drive, there are differing opinions about that, however IMO the most important thing is to just not push the engine hard until it has time to fully warm up (10-20 minutes, depending on ambient temp). Gradual acceleration and 45-50 MPH max during the warmup. And for anyone who thinks that's being too conservative, keep in mind that it takes ATF 25 minutes to reach full operating temp, or longer in very cold ambient temps. So warm up isn't just about the engine.
 

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I only let warm up for as long as it is doing the late timing to heat up the cat, which should be enough time to have pumped oil through the whole system and over every surface. If it's especially cold I'll give it an exra 30-90 seconds to ensure fully pressurized system.
(note* the ECU is smart and will adjust fuel/timing until engine is up to temp, that may be what you are noticing)

If it's really cold (<40f) then I'll make a point to drive gently at least until the blue low temp light turns off, even in 20f weather it doesn't take but a couple minutes for this to happen while driving.

I monitor coolant, transmission, and oil temps regularly.
Transmission fluid - Skyactivs pump coolant through the trans to warm/cool it, so it warms up really fast which is nice. (99.9% of the time the transmission fluid is the exact same temperature as the coolant)
Oil - Skyactivs run cooler than most motors, and have a good airflow over the oil filter to aid natural oil cooling, this means driving at freeway speeds on a cold day the oil may never exceed 140f, but decent synthetic oil pumps fine even at only 100f so not to worry.
 

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As others have noted, the engine prioritizes heating up the cats on cold starts, so it doesn't produce as much power or smoothness. It can also produce a ticking sound sort of like a valve tick. All normal.

When I start up, I wait till the high-idle comes down a bit, about 45 seconds to let the oil circulate. Then I start driving. Since I live about half a mile up a gravel road and through two gates, I'm driving gingerly for about 5 minutes. Once I hit the blacktop, all bets are off and I drive normally. The blue dash light goes out within a minute or so of reaching the pavement, even on days below freezing.
 

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.... I monitor coolant, transmission, and oil temps regularly.
Transmission fluid - Skyactivs pump coolant through the trans to warm/cool it, so it warms up really fast which is nice. (99.9% of the time the transmission fluid is the exact same temperature as the coolant) ...
I monitor them too, and can say for certain that transmission fluid temp runs WAY below coolant temp for quite a while during warmup. I suspect that you're using the bogus tranny temp parm that's included in the Torque Pro base set. When I tried that one, it did follow the the ECT values, and I knew that couldn't be right.

So I looked around and found the plugin which uses the actual Mazda TFT parm. And that TFT PID displays much lower values than ECT for most of the vehicle warmup. If you're using something other than Torque Pro, I can't comment on that, and would recommend that you try contacting the distributor of that tool, and ask where they're getting the tranny temp values from.
 

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If it's really cold (<40f) then I'll make a point to drive gently at least until the blue low temp light turns off, even in 20f weather it doesn't take but a couple minutes for this to happen while driving
Now you got me worry. My 2016 Mazda 3 2.0 auto took almost 6-7 minutes today at 25 degrees. I just wait 20 seconds on start for rpm’s to drop and then drive conservative until the blue light turns off.
 

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As others stated, just wait for the RPM to settle down to normal. You will be fine after that, given you have the correct engine oil in it.
CK
 

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Now you got me worry. My 2016 Mazda 3 2.0 auto took almost 6-7 minutes today at 25 degrees. I just wait 20 seconds on start for rpm’s to drop and then drive conservative until the blue light turns off.
You don't need to worry, I'm just extra paranoid (and running a supercharger), by the time the rpms settle down oil has been pumped through the system (which is all you really need in modern cars with decent oil) and you're good (y)
 
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I monitor them too, and can say for certain that transmission fluid temp runs WAY below coolant temp for quite a while during warmup. I suspect that you're using the bogus tranny temp parm that's included in the Torque Pro base set. When I tried that one, it did follow the the ECT values, and I knew that couldn't be right.

So I looked around and found the plugin which uses the actual Mazda TFT parm. And that TFT PID displays much lower values than ECT for most of the vehicle warmup. If you're using something other than Torque Pro, I can't comment on that, and would recommend that you try contacting the distributor of that tool, and ask where they're getting the tranny temp values from.
oh I'm very interested, yes I'm just using the PID in Torque Pro, it usually shows the trans as significantly colder for the first little bit, but it heats up much faster than the oil. It used to get hotter than coolant when pusghing it, but that improved slightly when I added Mishimoto liquid chill to the coolant.
If there's a more accurate metric I want to change to that!

How do I use the "TFT PID"?!
 

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oh I'm very interested, yes I'm just using the PID in Torque Pro, ....
If there's a more accurate metric I want to change to that! ....
How do I use the "TFT PID"?!
Unfortunately, there's a 'catch' with this (isn't there always). My older eyes and fingers don't like cell phones, and so I use a PC for everything that I do. So I run Torque Pro via an Android emulator running on the PC. I was able to easily locate the download for the Torque Pro plugin that contained the TFT pid, and got it up and running in minutes.

I naturally assumed that this same plugin would be available for Android phones as well, until someone else on another forum asked me about it. We both looked at everything we could find online, but there was no information on it - nothing in the Play Store, or anywhere else for that matter either. So unless something has changed since then, you probably won't be able to get this on your phone. Now perhaps someone might be willing to try porting the PC/Android download and then doing a file install using that APK. Definitely not something that most folks would want to do however.

I do know that the FORScan OBD tool has TFT, and a bunch of other good stuff as well, but that of course costs $$. And I'm sure there are a number of other tools having TFT available that you can buy as well.

Sorry that I can't provide a simple and inexpensive way for you to do this.
 

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I have downloaded the FORScan on an old Windows 10 laptop for free and I bought a OBD2 Adapter FORSCan VINT-TT55502 for $19. Works excellent!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N18TOFB/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_6AV0RBQ4Z8M00E7J01JK
That would be fine for someone who doesn't mind using the more cumbersome PC, as you and I do. But I'm assuming that most folks these days want to be able to access OBD using their phone, Android Auto on the vehicle display, or a small and compact standalone OBD unit.
 

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So I’m in a debate with friends and family alike… and I need some input. Are idle warm ups still relevant with our Skyactiv motors? If so, at what temp (outside) do I need to do so, or can bypass it?

I can tell a distinct difference in the way she drives and feels if I have let her warm up for a few minutes before driving, versus not. Even when she read 45°F tonight, she was rough and shaky since I did not let her warm up tonight. I’m terrified that the oil is too cold and think, not going where it is needed, and causing the pistons to catch along the walls of their chambers…. 😭😭

I’m tempted to call someone official with Mazda to find out the limits/specs in this… curious of outside input though!! Kudos for resource links and verifiable stats!
Don't let it sit idling on the drive that just causes pollution and dilutes the sump, just drive it with a light foot without overloading it regardless of outside temp. An engine will warm up quicker driven on light load than idling. Fourty five degrees F is not that cold. Garaging a car helps with warm up plus you leave with clear glass and no snow on the roof. Will start easier as the temp of the battery is higher and less resistance. Leave your heater off so warmer water circulates back. Even when the light goes out increase in increments rather than foot to boards if you are on the motorway so everything warms up gradually.
You have several disimilar metals in an engine which expand at different rates and if the engine is hammered then it will cause excessive wear.

Heated seats, steering wheel are not required and just sap the battery of power at the wrong time of the year. You would be surprised how long it takes to put back the charge from starting on a cold day. Using the regenerative system all helps, ie , don't use your brakes to slow down, just take your foot off earlier, this will charge your battery.
As Kgpoyser said read your manual, but what I have just written is what Mazda recommends and good engineering practice dictates, but the younger generation do not read any instruction manuals for anything including their cars they have spent a fortune on. Starting and running procedures you should learn or be taught when learning to drive.
 
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