Let Engine Idle or Turn Off?

Messages
317
Location
Cleveland, OH
Thread starter
I have a Polaris Ranger 500 EFI that I use on property to do 50% work and 50% play. Engine is a 500cc, single cylinder, 4 stroke, OHV, and fuel injected. This is a new to me machine and I find myself driving to an area of the property, getting out to do work, then moving on to the next area. There are some tasks that take 10-15 minutes to do before moving on to the next area. My question is: is it better to let the engine idle or to turn off when off the machine doing 10 minute tasks? Anything over 15 minutes, I shut off the machine. The motor gets full synthetic engine oil. It gets to operating temperature (fan kicks on at times of idle), and sees its fair share of high revs when riding for pleasure. Which is easier on the machine....the constant idling or the on/off, on/off, on/off cycle?
 
Messages
34,638
Location
NY
The most I'd let it run once warmed up would be 1-2 minutes. I wouldn't idle the engine more than that while doing tasks.
 
Messages
1,894
Location
missouri
efi engines have precise fuel control, so idle does not result in rich mixtures washing lube oil off cylinders. So other than getting hot, and the fan having to run, and the fuel consumed, there is not much difference. In the winter, I would let it run so the oil gets hot at least once a day to help evaporate water. Otherwise shut it off, save fuel and emissions. My BMW motorcycle really never heats up in winter, so I will let it idle once a week until it hits 5/6 bars to evaporate the water. Rod
 
Messages
2,526
Location
wv
I would shut it off. You are putting extra hours on your primary clutch which still spins and possibly can cause a flat spot on the belt..as it rides on the primary while idling. Not counting the extra hours you are accumulating.. if i was working alone i would rather hear an animal or person coming than to listen to the engine.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
44,480
Location
New Jersey
Originally Posted by toneydoc
Any potential idling greater than 30 seconds and I shut down my engines
I believe I read that number "factually" (some analytical work) years ago. Don't delivery trucks like UPS and FedEx shut down every stop? If they do this for short, quick residential deliveries, it must be sufficiently low wear and tear on starters and the battery, to justify that the fuel savings is greater. I'd shut it down and not think a thing about it. Far more concerned with shutting down after a hard, heavily loaded run. It doesn't sound like this use profile is hard running between stops.
 
Messages
2,026
Location
CA
Originally Posted by JHZR2
Originally Posted by toneydoc
Any potential idling greater than 30 seconds and I shut down my engines
I believe I read that number "factually" (some analytical work) years ago. Don't delivery trucks like UPS and FedEx shut down every stop? If they do this for short, quick residential deliveries, it must be sufficiently low wear and tear on starters and the battery, to justify that the fuel savings is greater. I'd shut it down and not think a thing about it. Far more concerned with shutting down after a hard, heavily loaded run. It doesn't sound like this use profile is hard running between stops.
I asked my UPS driver about this. He said it was more for preventing a smash and grab intruder making off with the truck. It's happened.
 
Last edited:
Messages
4,429
Location
Connecticut
Originally Posted by JHZR2
Originally Posted by toneydoc
Any potential idling greater than 30 seconds and I shut down my engines
I believe I read that number "factually" (some analytical work) years ago. Don't delivery trucks like UPS and FedEx shut down every stop? If they do this for short, quick residential deliveries, it must be sufficiently low wear and tear on starters and the battery, to justify that the fuel savings is greater.
When this was instituted at my plant for delivery vehicles (about 50 visiting per day - sometimes waiting in line for 10 minutes) the reason was environmental concerns from the state. The idea was to reduce excess vehicle emissions. I don't think it has much to do with wear and tear and it does for meeting state environmental requirements....at least in Connecticut. Connecticut law prohibits vehicles of all kinds from unnecessary idling for more than three minutes. Provisions are made for weather ex- tremes, certain service vehicles and health-related conditions.
 
Messages
1,894
Location
missouri
Most of the semi delivery trucks shut down as soon as they dock. In the cold of winter and heat of summer the driver will often let them idle. They will then shut down automatically after a few minutes. However his cab is still quite a bit warmer or cooler when he does get back in Our business is manufacturing repair parts for starters, so we like it. We sell several kinds that upgraded from OE Rod
 
Messages
111
Location
MI
My boss had his rear hatch glass on his Excursion replaced and the glass guy left his van idling the entire 1-1.5hrs he was working on it. We couldn't figure out why he didn't just shut it off.
 
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2,584
Location
in the shop
If the Polaris has a CVT transmission and you've been riding hard, its good to let idle in neutral for a few minutes to cool the belt.
 
Messages
2,329
Location
Lexington, KY
Originally Posted by Aero540T
My boss had his rear hatch glass on his Excursion replaced and the glass guy left his van idling the entire 1-1.5hrs he was working on it. We couldn't figure out why he didn't just shut it off.
Internet service provider crews do this too. Likewise I see furniture delivery crews doing this all the time. They will leave their big box trucks idling for an hour, for no good reason I can determine. I suspect they would shut off the engine if they were paying for the fuel. In contrast, the vans and trucks that belong to privately owned small businesses are shut off promptly.
 
Messages
1,781
Location
Wisconsin
Originally Posted by Aero540T
My boss had his rear hatch glass on his Excursion replaced and the glass guy left his van idling the entire 1-1.5hrs he was working on it. We couldn't figure out why he didn't just shut it off.
Don't ever buy a used pickup that was a railroad vehicle, those things idle all day long.
 
Messages
61
Location
Montague, NJ
FI 4 stroke idling , not a issue. Look at police vehicles and how many Crown Vics are long into cab duty years later for example. Carb. motors or 2 stroke yeah shut it off unless necessary.
 
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