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#4650002 - 01/29/18 10:47 AM Engine wear during extended Idling
mbacfp Offline


Registered: 09/02/15
Posts: 837
Loc: California
I have always wondered how gasoline cars fair long-term with substantial idling. I have noticed some people idle their cars for at least 20-30 minutes (assuming every day...as I pick up my son 2 days a week) while they wait to pick up their children from school. Even when on the hot side, I put my sun shade up and roll down my windows...I refuse to idle my car for that long. Over time, does excessive idling cause any additional strain on certain engine components or am I incorrect in my anti-idling bias? Thanks.
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#4650005 - 01/29/18 10:52 AM Re: Engine wear during extended Idling [Re: mbacfp]
puliukk0 Offline


Registered: 11/12/17
Posts: 31
Loc: Finland
I think idle is least stressing to motor.

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#4650006 - 01/29/18 10:52 AM Re: Engine wear during extended Idling [Re: mbacfp]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 18840
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Other than wasting fuel, possibly a little fuel dilution and fluffy carbon on the pistons tops that blows away the first time you give it the boot no. Police cars do it all the time and get hundreds of thousands on them.
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#4650008 - 01/29/18 10:53 AM Re: Engine wear during extended Idling [Re: mbacfp]
KrisZ Offline


Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 7456
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Doesn't matter one bit.
I don't idle because it's wasteful, but if it's really hot or cold outside, I will keep the engine on to maintain a comfortable cabin temp. I do, however, use my remote start feature to warm up the cabin a bit in the morning.
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#4650011 - 01/29/18 10:56 AM Re: Engine wear during extended Idling [Re: mbacfp]
zfasts03 Offline


Registered: 07/21/08
Posts: 251
Loc: Bucks, PA
Well, the engine is running... so there's wear occurring. Low stress, low wear, police cars do this all the time.

I have idled my `06 Odyssey for 1-2 hours for heat many times, while waiting before.

Either way they body and other parts of the car will probably wear out before the engine as long as maintenance isn't missed.
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#4650013 - 01/29/18 10:59 AM Re: Engine wear during extended Idling [Re: mbacfp]
mbacfp Offline


Registered: 09/02/15
Posts: 837
Loc: California
Thanks guys. Me too, remote start to cool or warm the car for 3-5 minutes while I get the kids in. Less of an engine wearing issue problem then. Thanks for the responses...good day all.
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#4650028 - 01/29/18 11:08 AM Re: Engine wear during extended Idling [Re: mbacfp]
bubbatime Offline


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5622
Loc: South Florida
Police cars, ambulance, taxis, idle for hours and hours at a time. Engine could care less.

When I worked at a prison years ago, the perimeter security cars were driven/idled 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They would rack up 200K, 300K miles, with INCREDIBLE idle time. And they only changed the oil very occasionally with bulk 15W40.
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#4650029 - 01/29/18 11:09 AM Re: Engine wear during extended Idling [Re: mbacfp]
OTCW Offline


Registered: 05/07/17
Posts: 49
Loc: Tennessee
I try to avoid idling.
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#4650031 - 01/29/18 11:10 AM Re: Engine wear during extended Idling [Re: mbacfp]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 11963
Loc: N.H, U.S.A.
Most Wear on the exhaust system with quarts of water and acid in the pipes and mufflers/resonators.

No need to warm up more than 5 mins on the worst days. If yopu need more in killer climes, get a block and pan heater and install the infrastructure to get the AC to where you need it smile
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#4650052 - 01/29/18 11:21 AM Re: Engine wear during extended Idling [Re: mbacfp]
SeaJay Offline


Registered: 03/05/15
Posts: 1083
Loc: New York City
Of all the ways to put wear on a motor, idling is at the bottom of my list.

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#4650055 - 01/29/18 11:24 AM Re: Engine wear during extended Idling [Re: mbacfp]
mightymousetech Offline


Registered: 04/03/17
Posts: 1444
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Idling warm and idling after a cold start are separate issues.
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#4650057 - 01/29/18 11:25 AM Re: Engine wear during extended Idling [Re: mbacfp]
emmett442 Offline


Registered: 12/07/16
Posts: 174
Loc: Wisconsin
As far as fleet vehicles go on this topic, they all incorporate a coolant-to-engine oil cooler of some type to keep the oil temp up and stave off fuel dilution and condensation - keeping these engines healthy over the severely long idle times <---because even though coolant temp can be maintained while idling, oil temp may not. Especially in cold whether, extended idle times can prevent the oil from completely warming up, and already-hot oil can actually cool down.

While some are, many regular non-fleet vehicles aren't equipped with this, so they may fare a little differently. Whether or not it's of significance is another debate.
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#4650112 - 01/29/18 12:16 PM Re: Engine wear during extended Idling [Re: mbacfp]
FordCapriDriver Offline


Registered: 10/22/15
Posts: 2377
Loc: Balearic Islands , Spain
Wear wise high speed highway driving produces the least wear, the oil pressure is high and flowing at 120mph through the engine, this means a more generous oil film between parts, a.k.a hydrodynamic lubrication.

I avoid idling whenever possible, i often stop by an ATM that is 2 minutes away from my garage, the engine at that point is still stone cold but i shut it off anyway, rather than let it idle for 5 minutes.

I also avoid short trips as much as possible where the engine does not get up to temp, specially with the older cars i own.

I always try to get the engine warmed up every time i drive, to avoid creating carbon deposits and fuel dilution with the old cars i own.
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#4650166 - 01/29/18 01:00 PM Re: Engine wear during extended Idling [Re: mbacfp]
ZZman Offline


Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 5773
Loc: Michigan
I would think idling in general would cause little wear. Low stress, oil flowing, vehicle up to temp.
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#4650167 - 01/29/18 01:00 PM Re: Engine wear during extended Idling [Re: mbacfp]
440Magnum Offline


Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 8754
Loc: Texas
Extended idle is a lot less of a problem with multi-port fuel injection than it was with carbs, where the fuel distribution would get pretty awful at low air-flow rates. Open the throttle and everything can be really good with carbs, but at idle... not so much. Just not enough air to sweep the fuel to all the cylinders in the same proportions.
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