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Old 01-13-2013, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
15,700 posts, read 25,314,400 times
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There is no water condensation (milky looking stuff) found around the oil fill cap these days. All of that has been addressed by engine manufacturers. You can see a lot of idling at any truck stop in the US and Canada. The same can be said about train locomotives, city buses, taxis, police cruisers, and the rest.

The moisture being sucked into the motor through the intake is pushed out the exhaust, and any moisture in the oil pan or under the valve covers is pullet out by the vent system (PCV) along other gasses.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Detroit, MI/St. David, AZ
205 posts, read 384,389 times
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Ok, in the shortest answer possible, under most conditions extended idling will not damage your engine or cause any permanent issues. Now in the case of diesels with DPF systems, it can cause your exhaust cleaning to run for an extended period of time or require multiple cleanings (which are done by the computer and not manually).

Where some tend to see some problems are in Taxi cabs. They idle more than they don't. This causes severe cylinder wash, and not that its a huge problem, the problem is that all this fuel gets washed down the cylinder into the crankcase and then the user doesnt service the oil soon enough. This causes fuel to dilute the oil and start washing the bearings out. Thats where engine damage and failure can occur. But taxis are not normal everyday drivers who let their engines warm up with a remote start or something.

Last edited by observer53; 03-28-2013 at 11:41 AM.. Reason: by request
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,869 posts, read 11,527,587 times
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Where is MCkenny, with all this talk of diesels


RayinAK, We too know about cold temps, we at times start a diesel at -20*f or colder that has not been plugged in for days.
The right oil and good batteries are key.
When it get's thst cold the engine can not produce enough heat for complete combustion to take place and they start to smoke and wash down the calenders.
Raising the idle to over 15k helps to eliminate this.

Diesel engine idling increases fuel costs, causes premature engine damage, pollutes the environment and is largely unnecessary with today's modern engines, say engineers at Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development's (AAFRD) AgTech Centre in Lethbridge.

There are many ideas about the need for diesel idling that are based on outdated perceptions from years ago," says Reed Turner, an AgTech Centre Engineer. "Today's turbocharged diesel engines start a lot better and simply don't need to idle as much as many people think."

There are several common myths producers should be aware of to avoid needless costs, says Turner. Topping the list is the myth that diesel engines need to idle because they're hard starting. In fact, he says, today's diesel engines start easily when the engine operating systems are well maintained.
"If an engine is hard starting, it's better to fix the problem than to let it idle."

Another common myth is that it's best to idle until the engine is fully warmed up. The reality is that it's impossible to bring a diesel engine to operating temperatures while idling, he says. Manufacturers recommend providing five to 10 minutes of fast idle time after a cold start, then lightly loading the engine until oil and coolant temperature have stabilized.

When idling unnecessarily, incomplete combustion occurs that causes over fueling. Under these conditions, combustion gases and fuel can enter the crankcase, cause deterioration to the oil additive package, and eventually cause premature engine damage, he says.

AgTech Centre is part of the Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Agricultural Engineering Branch. Its mandate is to support all aspects of agricultural sustainability.



I'm not say'en that I always shut it down , heck I've had a snow-cat idel for 23hrs then it caught on fire.

but yea we do idle them, for a warm place to go, when you get to cold working outside in remote locations.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:52 PM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,780 posts, read 16,712,472 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderkat59 View Post
How old are you guys?
Have you ever owed a '60 Chebby, a '67 GTO you drove to the shore in or a '59 Fiat you drove in Philly, perhaps ??
This was very true of any car built before the 90's for a number of different reasons. Very true . . .
I have a 2002 car that I still turn off at long lights.
and what are these reasons? I am old enough to own cars as old as 1961
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Detroit, MI/St. David, AZ
205 posts, read 384,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayinAK View Post
There is no water condensation (milky looking stuff) found around the oil fill cap these days. All of that has been addressed by engine manufacturers. You can see a lot of idling at any truck stop in the US and Canada. The same can be said about train locomotives, city buses, taxis, police cruisers, and the rest.

The moisture being sucked into the motor through the intake is pushed out the exhaust, and any moisture in the oil pan or under the valve covers is pullet out by the vent system (PCV) along other gasses.
I do not agree with this. I work on vehicles for a living. Tomorrow at work I will pull as many oil caps as you want and prove that condensation does INDEED still occur in modern gasoline and diesel engines. Components heat up and cool down, humidity in the air and BOOM moisture transfers from the atmosphere to inside the engine. You then need to run the engine at water boiling oil temperatures to rid the engine oil of moisture. Small 4 cylinders you don't see it in much, especially all aluminum engines. But bigger V6s and V8s with Iron blocks you will see condensation in regularly unless its driven for long periods.

Now I do agree that with all of the modern technology on the engine that condensation is really something that need not be worried about. I just simply wanted to make the point that condensation still occurs in modern engines.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
21,366 posts, read 54,474,617 times
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I had never heard idling was bad for an engine. Not for any age of car. I can confirm that idling wastes less gas than constant re-starting (which was somehting I already knew). My son was complaining about absolutely terrible gas mileage while delivering pizza. Have delivered pizza in the past, I called upon my vast wealth of knowledge and told him not to turn off his car between runs. His gas mileage increased by 10 mpg. I experienced similar results when delivering pizza in the 1980s.

I also had a car with a broken starter that I pretty much ran constantly for nearly a month. I just kept gas in it and left it running. It never had any engine problems (everyhting else went, but the engine and transmission were fine).

The theory that a car idling does not get "up to its optimal temperature" makes no sense to me. In my expereience idling cars tend to run hot because there is no air forced through the radiator. What is the basis for believing an idling car runs cooler? I have only seen the opposite. Either they run at normal temperature while idling or they run hot.


As far as diesels, I know the diesel powered boat I drove was started once a day, and then left ilding all day, you did nto shut it off. Sometimes we let it run trhough the night as well. I cannot remember the reason, the mechanics just told us to. If anyone really cares about this issue with regard to diesel engines I can try to remember to ask my dad. A big part of his job for 30 years was mostly involved running dielsel engines under differnet conditions until they broke and then taking them apart and figuring out why they broke and then designing a correction to prevent the breakdown. Sometimes the engines idled, sometimes they ran at full speed, sometimes variable speeds. If there is an expert ont his subject out there, it would be dad. Now I just need to remember to ask him, and then remember to post what he says. I also need to remember to care.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Detroit, MI/St. David, AZ
205 posts, read 384,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post

The theory that a car idling does not get "up to its optimal temperature" makes no sense to me. In my expereience idling cars tend to run hot because there is no air forced through the radiator. What is the basis for believing an idling car runs cooler? I have only seen the opposite. Either they run at normal temperature while idling or they run hot.
I think when people say this they are referring more towards Oil Temperature. An engine can idle all day long and oil temp will not reach the levels it will when it is under load.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
15,700 posts, read 25,314,400 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmurfOnABoat View Post
I do not agree with this. I work on vehicles for a living. Tomorrow at work I will pull as many oil caps as you want and prove that condensation does INDEED still occur in modern gasoline and diesel engines. Components heat up and cool down, humidity in the air and BOOM moisture transfers from the atmosphere to inside the engine. You then need to run the engine at water boiling oil temperatures to rid the engine oil of moisture. Small 4 cylinders you don't see it in much, especially all aluminum engines. But bigger V6s and V8s with Iron blocks you will see condensation in regularly unless its driven for long periods.

Now I do agree that with all of the modern technology on the engine that condensation is really something that need not be worried about. I just simply wanted to make the point that condensation still occurs in modern engines.
I just don't see the condensation you are talking about on any of the vehicles I own. The only time I would see such under the oil-fill cap was if the PCV was not working properly. I do agree with about warming the engine, and that's why I let it idle 15 minutes if the ambient temperature is -20 and lower.

This one is a 1988 Sierra with a 350 V8, and I assure you that it does not build condensation under the oil-fill cap, not even when -45 outside. I just warm the motor before I drive it, and idle down for about 30 seconds before shutting down.

Last edited by RayinAK; 01-14-2013 at 10:11 PM..
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:53 AM
 
Location: New Haven, CT
1,033 posts, read 2,956,913 times
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A lot going on in this thread, I agree with most of it.

I will say that Ive also heard that idling can be not so good on a newer car say newer than 2000. That you should just start it up and go. I do not know if this is because when the engine is idling its not producing a good amount of oil pressure and oil is not getting to the top end, or its just because car companies would rather see you damage your engine rather than idle gas away.

Condensation noticeable as the milky stuff on your oil cap will pretty much always be there. As someone said its from moisture, this happens when you take constant short drives, the constant heating and cooling makes the engine sweat. You get rid of this by taking a nice long drive when everything can get hot and the water will evaporate out. I bet an oil changes helps too.

When I get in my car and its cold I usually just rev it up a couple times and go. If its really cold i may let it sit for a minute to get some oil flowing, my car just past 180k so i have to watch out for lifter ticks and such. Oil starvation/neglect is the cause of most engine problems and shortened life spans.

Ive seen milky oil on my oil cap before and on the cam baffle that is visible from the oil fill. This isnt such a problem... but if you see a good amount on the bottom end when you drain it then you may have a problem.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:42 AM
 
Location: plano
5,350 posts, read 6,633,472 times
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I've owned cars built from 90 to current models and have let them idle for extended periods during the summer to keep dogs in the car cool while we eat quickly etc. No issues in terms of longevity as some as 140k miles without issues impacting operation. My owners manual suggested changing oil more frequently if I did a lot of short term stop and start driving so I did do at 3750 miles for the life of these cars.....all performed great... Infiniti V8 models
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