Car manuals say: "Don't let your engine run idle for long"

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Dashken, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. Dashken

    Dashken Administrator!

    Is it really bad for your engine? I just heard about this today, from a Hyundai car manual. Does this apply to both old carburator and the new fuel-injection?

    Asked my wife to ask her sister to reach the airport early. My wife said her sister told her she read in her car manual that waiting in the car with the AC on is not good for the engine. Hmm... :think:
  2. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    I think most manual will mention that. But how true is it? I don't know. But I hardly leave my engine idle for 5 minutes and above for 1 simple reason. Waste fuel. :haha:

    Car manual also mention that if you travel short distances frequently, like less than 5km, you need to perform maintenance more often.
  3. zy

    zy Staff Member

    No idea. I'm assuming if you're idle, you're not moving.

    Air doesn't get to the radiator without the help of radiator fan or A/C condenser fan. Fans may have to work harder/longer. Same goes with A/C compressor.

    Engine sucks warm air from engine compartment rather than outside air.

    Waste of fuel. Wear and tear on engine but with 0 distance.

  4. zy

    zy Staff Member

  5. Dashken

    Dashken Administrator!

    Ooooooo... means really not good. :D
  6. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    I'm not really sure if it'll "kill" your engine, but it is certainly wasteful.

    That's why newer cars are now implementing what some call "micro-hybrids", basically a start-stop system with a separate battery. This allows the car to automatically stop, saving fuel, while the air-conditioning system and radio, etc. continue to work.

    Of course, more frequent start-stops are supposed to result in more frequent maintenance, but I think that probably applies to COLD start-stops. Since the engine is already hot and well-lubricated, I don't think frequent start-stops at this point will be detrimental to the engine.
  7. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Most cars will not overheat when not moving thanks to fans. So that is not a big issue. Most modern cars will only overheat when you push to the max on track days, for example. But yes, fans will work harder and spins at full time.
  8. Ishtim

    Ishtim Super Moderator

  9. Dashken

    Dashken Administrator!

  10. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Sometimes I will run back to my car and re park to a closer spot. :thumb:

    Sent from my D5503 using Tapatalk
  11. atwl77

    atwl77 Just Started

    You must improve your kung fu, if it is not strong enough to be able to sense empty parking lots further up ahead. :lol:
  12. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    These days, I prefer to park a bit further if it means I get a better spot - a wider lot, or one next to a column, or the ultimate lot - all by itself. Hahaha...
  13. sg50

    sg50 Newbie

    how long is too long?
  14. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    I think longer than 4-5 minutes of idle is too long. But if you see how micro-hybrid cars work, it looks like we would benefit from not idling at all.
  15. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    But you are killing the tiny battery especially if they are not hybrid cars. So it is not really that great, and batteries are getting more and more expensive everyday.
  16. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    No, I'm not suggesting that we turn off our engines like the micro-hybrids. They have a separate, dedicated battery to run the air-conditioner and electronics.

    But if I think I'll be waiting for more than 4-5 minutes, I would turn off my engine.
  17. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Yup, of course, especially if you are waiting for someone. If it's too hot, get off the car and wait elsewhere.
    Adrian Wong likes this.
  18. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Yeah, exactly. :thumb:
  19. Helen Marr

    Helen Marr Newbie

    apparently, letting the car idle isn't good for the car, especially with the AC on. What you're basically accomplishing is aiding in the car wearing without racking up any miles. With the cylinders firing, you are using several electrical components, putting some small amount of stress on the belts, etc. Attention drivers! Turn off your idling engines

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