OK. Pretty good info here. But I noticed that most of the replies on this thread came from people in California. What the hell do you guys know about below zero weather? 1st of all, if you park your car outside in winter pray to God that you do not get below zero temperatures. That way, with the grace of God, your radiator won't be completely frozen(I've seen cases when even the freakin' antifreeze gets frozen). If your car is fuel injected, you may want to wait at least 10 minutes before even thinking about hitting the fuel pedal. Turn on your defrost & get the hell inside the house. What you want to do is wait until your car drops in rpm's...letting you know that the engine is getting warm. After a while go outside & start getting the layer of ice off your car. Even in warm temperatures I would let it run for a few minutes(if I haven't drove it for a while) just to get the juices flowing. I look for smooth idleing before I take off. Sorry to be blunt but weather here in the Windy City can be gruesome.
I say all this because the person that started this thread is from B.C. Canada
I live in the Phoenix which is even hotter than L.A.. But I grew up in Colorado, which gets plenty cold. I've dealt plenty with cold weather driving. Typically, you can expect to have to scrape frost of the windows on a cold morning, so I would always run the car with the defroster on while clearing the windows.
A word of advice. Starting your car and going inside is a bad idea. Two years ago, I got carjacked because of a very strange set of circumstances which began when someone started their car in the morning and went inside while the car warmed up.
The whole story was, someone was warming up their car, and the car thief was just lurking in the neighborhood. When the person started their car and went inside to warm it up, the thief just took the car and drove off. The police pursued him, but he evaded them, and then ended up driving up my street. I was just getting ready to go to work when he drove up and came out of the stolen car with a shotgun, and stole my car (he wanted to get into a different car because the one he had stolen was VERY HOT). So, basically because somebody miles from were I lived decided to leave their car unattended "warming up", I got carjacked at gunpoint. It is actually illegal to leave a car running unattended in Arizona (and possibly where you live as well) because of the risk of an unattended car getting stolen.