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Old 01-16-2013, 01:57 PM
 
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Wow, interesting thread...

Does idling hurt the engine? No, it doesn't.

Where it can be a problem is when you have long extended periods of idling but fail to perform necessary services to the vehicle relative to the engine usage.

When a manufacturer builds an engine, the engineers specify things like service intervals in "gallons consumed". Basically everything related to servicing the engine itself is based on how much FUEL the engine consumes. They then take that fuel consumption interval and extrapolate it into "hour" and "mileage" estimates. Truck drivers and people with vocational trucks using things like PTO's to power accessories base all of their maintenance off of engine hours. Regular people are used to doing it in mileage.

So, what happens when you idle your car a ton but service it based on mileage? You are putting wear and tear on the engine without doing the necessary maintenance. Basically if you idle a LOT you could be putting the equivalent of an extra 1,000-2,000 miles of wear on your engine over a 5,000 mile service interval period. Basically, it's the same as someone who doesn't idle letting their oil change go for an extra couple thousand miles beyond when it should have been changed.

In the short term, it doesn't matter, but over the longterm it starts to add up. By the time the engine above got to 100,000 miles on the odometer, the actual engine wear could be closer to that of a 130,000+ mile engine and it would have missed the equivalent of around 6-8 oil changes that should have been done over it's life.

These days, the issue is less and less of an issue. The reason is that most cars now feature "oil life monitors" that are basically calculating fuel consumption and then triggering a notice to change the oil. If one was to religiously follow those prompts, you would find that the less you idle the more miles you are able to go between oil changes.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:57 PM
 
1,257 posts, read 1,114,421 times
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Default Not the engine but

Quote:
Originally Posted by kanhawk View Post
My dad always told me not to let an engine idle more than a couple of minutes when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, that it would damage the engine. Was that true then and is it still true for late model cars to let an engine idle beyond a few minutes?
The acidic water vapor condensing and collecting in the exhaust system of an idling 60s/70s car or those used for short trips can destroy the system from the inside out.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistermobile View Post
The acidic water vapor condensing and collecting in the exhaust system of an idling 60s/70s car or those used for short trips can destroy the system from the inside out.
That happens to new automobiles, too. But that does not stop people from idling their car engines in Northern regions, nor driving their cars. Besides, the exhaust system of any automobile (old or new) can be upgraded with new materials. In Alaska, and I assume Northern Canada (Yukon and such) our automobiles create what is called "ice fog" when driving at -40 degrees and colder. This fog is the water vapor coming out the tail pipe of our automobiles, plus smoke stacks from power plants, boilers, furnaces, wood stoves and the rest. When stopped at a traffic light, the water vapor at the tail pipe condensate and you can see the droplets falling out the tail pipe of the car ahead of you. The water freezes almost instantly as it hits the cold asphalt, and some just freeze at the lower edge of the tailpipe
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:00 AM
Status: "Living the Dream" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
14,838 posts, read 23,638,736 times
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Information that does not help to enlighten the reader about the topic will be removed from this thread and forum. Keep it on topic please.
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:44 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,212 times
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Default Warming Up Car in Cold

I recently bought a 2007 Lincoln MKZ. I have had problems with the heat working anytime it is below about 20 degrees outside. They (at the dealer I bought it from) just told me tonight that it takes a long time to warm up. I would have to let it warm up for more than 20 minutes PLUS a 20 minute commute to work, in order for it to warm up. In what world do you have to leave a car run for over an hour to warm up? The engine temp guage is at its normal reading in about 4 - 5 minutes. When I drive home after work, the heat works (temp today was about 26 degrees after work). I call shenanigans on that. I live in Ohio and have had to drive to work in -4 weather 3 times in the last week (wind chill was a killer - making it around -16). ANYHOW, I want some input from those that know. I told them I have NEVER heard of a car needing to run that long in order to get heat! I've had to scrape the inside of the windshield!
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:51 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
8,483 posts, read 5,842,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanhawk View Post
My dad always told me not to let an engine idle more than a couple of minutes when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, that it would damage the engine. Was that true then and is it still true for late model cars to let an engine idle beyond a few minutes?
Used to be true.
Cars used to "carbon up" back in the olden days before electronic ignition. We used to do all sorts of things to blow the carbon out, too.

One of the most common was to get it good and warm, then rev it up and poor a quart of automatic transmission fluid right down the carb! I'm not making this up - I was a Lincoln Merc mechanic, back in th' day and I've done it myself. The poor vehicle would smoke up the whole back lot (white smoke), but in the end it would run a lot better.
So, yeah. I think idling for long periods used to be harmful. Not any more, though.
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
15,703 posts, read 25,333,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessiH View Post
I recently bought a 2007 Lincoln MKZ. I have had problems with the heat working anytime it is below about 20 degrees outside. They (at the dealer I bought it from) just told me tonight that it takes a long time to warm up. I would have to let it warm up for more than 20 minutes PLUS a 20 minute commute to work, in order for it to warm up. In what world do you have to leave a car run for over an hour to warm up? The engine temp guage is at its normal reading in about 4 - 5 minutes. When I drive home after work, the heat works (temp today was about 26 degrees after work). I call shenanigans on that. I live in Ohio and have had to drive to work in -4 weather 3 times in the last week (wind chill was a killer - making it around -16). ANYHOW, I want some input from those that know. I told them I have NEVER heard of a car needing to run that long in order to get heat! I've had to scrape the inside of the windshield!
Have the thermostat replaced, and the antifreeze serviced to have 50% antifreeze/50% distilled water. Most antifreezes purchased at the automobile parts store are already premixed 50/50.
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Old 02-24-2015, 10:52 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
8,483 posts, read 5,842,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessiH View Post
I recently bought a 2007 Lincoln MKZ. I have had problems with the heat working anytime it is below about 20 degrees outside. They (at the dealer I bought it from) just told me tonight that it takes a long time to warm up. I would have to let it warm up for more than 20 minutes PLUS a 20 minute commute to work, in order for it to warm up. In what world do you have to leave a car run for over an hour to warm up? The engine temp guage is at its normal reading in about 4 - 5 minutes. When I drive home after work, the heat works (temp today was about 26 degrees after work). I call shenanigans on that. I live in Ohio and have had to drive to work in -4 weather 3 times in the last week (wind chill was a killer - making it around -16). ANYHOW, I want some input from those that know. I told them I have NEVER heard of a car needing to run that long in order to get heat! I've had to scrape the inside of the windshield!
Engine temp normal & car heater not working? You can make sure by raising the hood and putting your hand on the radiator. If it's hot your heater should be working.

The problem is the mixer valve. There is a valve that allows hot water into the heater core. When the car is warm enough it closes and prevents the flow of hot water, and when the car gets too cold it lets more hot water through.
Yours isn't working properly. It just lets a trickle of water through - not enough when it's really cold.
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:09 AM
 
3,046 posts, read 2,289,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snofarmer View Post
Moderator cut: Personal attack

Will idling for a few minutes to a hr or more hurt a gas engine.
probably not, depends on how long, some will develop carbon deposits. Our(gas & diesel) plow trucks idle all the time.

BUT
A diesel can run into problems with extended idling.
(Mostly in the winter) the cylinder temps can fall resulting in unburned fuel and cylinder wash. The fuel will wash the oil from the cylinders walls and pass by the rings diluting the oil with fuel.

The new diesels,(07 and newer) have a dpf system that will clog with soot and result in a de-rated engine power if they are idled to long and a clogged DPF will result.

"I guess all those hundreds of thousands of taxis, Police cars, UPS trucks, and USPS vehicles are all suffering from "damaged engines " as they run for hours at a time."

many do suffer from this, it's oil dilution and it will shorten the life of an engine.
idling is a concern for every fleet manager.
We over the look any damage to emergency vehicles as we want them to be ready to respond and they need to keep the battery charged up to run all of their electronics.
and the ups truck only idles for a minute or two while a delivery is made.

ps if your going to do any idling for an extended time, set the throttle so the rpm's are over 1k this will help to keep up the cylinder temps
My brother had 5 semi trucks he would not shut them off in the winter because they are a pia to start when sitting when cold, even shooting starting fluid in the intake did not work all the time. The hotter a disel runs the better they peforms. Who ever said an idleing Diseal is bad is crazy. Go to any truck stop in the north in the winter and see if the truckers turn their trucks off. My brother had over 500,000 miles on his cat Diseal engine. So I guess his idleing did no damage to his Western Star.

Last edited by Vannort54; 02-25-2015 at 07:26 AM..
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:54 PM
 
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Reputation: 10
The only problem I ever had idling a vehicle was with a old dodge van.. Because the water pump was wearing out and I was idling it..cause the seep hole in water pump to go out.
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