SRT® Shoutback: turbo engine start-up and shut-down procedures.
driveSRT Facebook fan Brian W.: "Should I let my Caliber SRT4 warm up in cold weather?"
Turbocharged engines sometimes require special care, due in part to the heat generated by turbo components. However, according to SRT engineers who worked on the Caliber SRT4, this specific engine is surprisingly adept at handling a wide range of temperatures.
"When it comes to normal street driving, there is no real benefit to the engine to let it warm up at idle before driving away," says Caliber SRT4 engine supervisor David Schmidt. "The engine will warm up quicker in the first few miles of a normal commute. Personally, I like to stay out of boost until the engine comes to temperature. I definitely recommend having the coolant and oil up to temperature before doing any full-throttle or high-rpm acceleration. If you treat an engine this way, and always use good oil, your engine will treat you well, too."
SRT engine supervisor Kraig Kourtney notes that modern engine advancements have virtually eliminated all cold-start issues.
"Warm-up was a much bigger concern 20 years ago, when gerotor-style oil pumps were run off the camshaft," Kourtney says. "Modern oil pumps are run off the crankshaft, so oil pressure is robust at idle."
Shut down, on the other hand, might require extra care, depending on how hard you've run your car.
"After normal street driving, there's no need to idle the engine before shutting it off," Schmidt says. "The Caliber SRT4 has an after-run pump to cool the turbocharger after the engine is shut off. In the case of really aggressive driving - 20 minutes on a race course, high boost, high rpm - allow the engine to idle for a couple minutes before shutting it off. The after-run pump takes care of the rest."
It's important to remember that the Neon SRT4 engine, and most older turbocharged engines, were not equipped with after-run pumps. These vehicles always require a cool-down idle period as detailed in the owner's manual.