U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Automotive
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-13-2013, 12:44 AM
 
4,803 posts, read 9,445,877 times
Reputation: 8173

Advertisements

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?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-13-2013, 07:45 AM
 
10,314 posts, read 38,023,140 times
Reputation: 12489
Not true then or now.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2013, 07:49 AM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,780 posts, read 16,706,213 times
Reputation: 2262
Who ever told you that? Its not nor has ever been true. What it does is waste gas.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2013, 08:41 AM
 
3,465 posts, read 3,893,227 times
Reputation: 7073
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankgn87 View Post
Who ever told you that? Its not nor has ever been true. What it does is waste gas.
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.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2013, 08:49 AM
 
335 posts, read 325,206 times
Reputation: 117
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.
You are very wrong. How could idling possible harm the engine? Where did you get the idea it does?
Turn it off at lights? You are doing more damage stopping and starting and using more gas than idling ever would.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2013, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 18,280,769 times
Reputation: 5043
Idling doesn't cause any more damage than running the engine at any other speed. It doesn't have anything to do with age of the car. There's nothing that was true 40 years ago about idling that is not true now, or vice-versa.

Any amount of running the engine causes wear, but idling wears less than running at high speed or lugging up a hill or anything else that is putting more strain on the components.

So there's no inherent damage that is done by idling an engine. But, if you don't need to be idling it then you should turn it off to save gas and perhaps a little wear.

Keep in mind that startup is another wear point so a few minutes of idling could be better than another startup cycle from a wear perspective. But if you look around at hybrid cars and even a few non-hybrids, they have incorporated automatic engine stop/start for fuel economy reasons, so it takes even less idling to start wasting gas apparently.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2013, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2,540 posts, read 2,701,748 times
Reputation: 6673
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.

What sillyness. Provided that the engine has a full crankcase of oil, and proper coolant levels, it can run for many hours, at idle, and be "just fine ".

I put over 500 THOUSAND miles on a Ford one ton cargo van, with a 351 windsor V8 engine, that I ran all over Canada and the USA, as a expedite freight owner/operator. I slept in it, many a night at minus 20 celsius, and it idled along , to keep the heater running. No problem. I changed the oil at 10k kilometres, as my job required at least 20 k of driving, per month. It was typical for me to pick up a load in Toronto, and head off to Texas, to deliver.

Jim B

Toronto.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2013, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Prosper
6,268 posts, read 10,856,725 times
Reputation: 9208
To answer the OP's question, as others have said, no, it's not true, then or now.

That myth perpetuated in the early 70's as cars started being outfitted with catalytic converters. It is true that if you idle an engine for long periods without getting the engine rpm up, the condensation in the exhaust would pool in the converter and if you didn't blow it out, it would rust out the cats prematurely. That's more or less true today as well, but modern cats are much more efficient and resilient to it. It's still the main reason why you should always bring an engine up to operating temperature and drive it for a bit, rather than starting it and shutting it off before everything has warmed up.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2013, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,869 posts, read 11,524,762 times
Reputation: 3490
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

Last edited by SOON2BNSURPRISE; 01-23-2013 at 11:09 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2013, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,721 posts, read 23,059,656 times
Reputation: 9143
One thing idling can do on older carbureted engines is foul spark plugs. It is a bigger problem with 2 stroke engines like on older jetskis. The richer fuel mixture of these engines with the colder spark plug temperature at idle can cause fouled plugs.

But is isn't damage.

Modern EFI engines don't have this problem.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Automotive

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2017, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 - Top