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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to college in Potsdam, NY - 1/2 hr drive to Canada. Winters were relatively harsh up there and years ago a friends Dad suggested parking my car in such a way to protect the engine from wind chill.

In other words, if you can find a parking space against a building or near other cars, etc, park head first to protect the engine block from wind chill. Conversely, try not to park with your nose pointing toward a large open field to protect the wind from whipping across and straight through the grill.

It makes sense and it's something I still try to do. Anyone ever do this or heard of doing this?
 

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I live in MN and have never done this.

I don't claim to be a genius, but I beleive that wind chill factor does not have an effect on something like a car engine. The air temp is the air temp as far as your car is concerned.

I beleive the wind clill only has an effect on living creatures (see definition below from WikiPedia):

Wind chill is the apparent temperature felt on exposed skin due to the combination of air temperature and wind speed. Except at higher temperatures, where wind chill is considered less important, the wind chill temperature (often incorrectly called the "wind chill factor") is always lower than the air temperature.

Air movement increases the rate at which the temperature of an object reaches the temperature of the ambient air. Humans feel this increased rate of heat transfer as wind chill. Any wind increases the rate at which moisture evaporates from the skin and carries heat away from the body. The phase change of water (in sweat) from liquid to vapor requires that the molecules reach a higher energy state. That energy is acquired by absorbing heat from surrounding tissue by conduction (see heat transfer). Wind also increases forced convection, which directly transfers the heat away from the body.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep, that makes complete sense. The wind will only increase the heat transfer coefficient and not the steady state temperature it will reach as it sits outside. Thanks.
 

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However, if you wanted your cars engine to stay warmer longer then it would make sense to park it in a wind protected location. Now that is something that I might start doing so I dont have to freeze my A** off every time waiting for my car to warm up after it has been parked for a couple of hours.
 

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wind chill will only effect some thing that is warmer that the air around it. also wind chill is only how cold the wind makes the air feal by stripping the heat, it not really any colder
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
However, if you wanted your cars engine to stay warmer longer then it would make sense to park it in a wind protected location. Now that is something that I might start doing so I dont have to freeze my A** off every time waiting for my car to warm up after it has been parked for a couple of hours.[/b]
Correct. Theoretically, you'd want your components to cool slower - fast temperature changes can cause distortion and cracking. This is the reason you shouldn't take glassware from the oven to the freezer. Obviously, this example is magnitudes worse than leaving your engine to cool in a winter wind storm, which shouldn't have a large effect on your car.
 

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Yes, but while the theory seems sound, I think that the actual benefit would be marginal - unless those winds are whipping up over 20mph and the overnight temp is in the single digits, or less. If you are really worried about the effects of the extreme cold on your car put in and use a block heater.
 

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Ya park backwards from the wind to keep the snow from piling up... LOL

Your engine wont care either way. Now if it is extreamly cold then you would put a block heater in, and perhaps a grill cover.
 

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Correct. Theoretically, you'd want your components to cool slower - fast temperature changes can cause distortion and cracking. This is the reason you shouldn't take glassware from the oven to the freezer. Obviously, this example is magnitudes worse than leaving your engine to cool in a winter wind storm, which shouldn't have a large effect on your car.[/b]
If the surface of your engine is sitting at, say, 250 degrees and it's 0 degrees outside there's already a huge difference in temperature. Unless the wind is blowing at 40mph and the windchill is like another 50 degrees below that, the difference between the ambient and windchill temperatures will be nothing compared to the heat of the engine. The difference between 250 and 0, and 250 and -20, isn't going to be appreciably different from the perspective of potentially causing damage due to rapid cooling -- your engine is going to cool rapidly either way it goes. Besides, the wind doesn't directly touch the engine anyhow so it's rather moot.
 

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My thoughts exactly. Your engine is already as sheltered as it's going to get. It's surrounded and (somewhat) insulated on three sides, with the fourth side less than a foot off of the ground. Parking it by a building or wall isn't going to affect the actual temperature of the air on the engine any more or less. The engine is already cooling rapidly (just listen to the pops and creaks of your exhaust manifold). No difference or harm is going to be had by parking it in the middle of the parking lot or out of the wind.
 

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I went to college in Grand Forks, ND. January never really did get above 0, and if you lived in the dorms there was no outlets available for block heaters. When it was windy, which was quite often, it didn't matter which direction you parked your car, it always cooled off fast, and took forever to warm up. Unless you're pouring cold water into an empty, hot block, there is no need to worry about cooling too rapidly. Your biggest concern in the cold white north is keeping things from freezing up. I had my starter literally freeze up which I thought was a weak battery, that is til I held the key long enough to melt whatever ice formed.
 

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It takes about 10-12 hours to cool a hot engine to an ambient temperature of -10F. The more wind the faster it cools, so the benefit of your theory would be that the engine may not cool down to frigid temperatures in the time you are making a few-hour stop. Which would take a few hot-cold cycles off the engine, which wouldn't hurt. If it's 20 degrees I would say the engine would reach ambient in 4-6 hours, so if you are going to work for the day, your theory may have little benefit unless you are the lunch driver.

It takes about two hours to cool down to 50degrees, which is what it is here. :nana:
 
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