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Old 04-03-2014, 04:48 PM   #1
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What exactly is "Excessive Idling"

My 05' Alpine has the 400 ISL Cummins. I have read in various places that excessive idling can lead to serious carbon buildup or worse. Not having any manuals, I have no idea what "excessive" is considered to be. I am a bit paranoid so I try to never let it idle for more than 5 minutes. Any ideas?
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:51 PM   #2
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It's a good question and I doubt there is a definitive answer.... besides, "it depends".

I think your approach of just being mindful of it and not idling unless you have to will serve you well. It's pretty much what I've always done.

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Old 04-03-2014, 05:15 PM   #3
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If you are only letting it idle 5 min you are doing it right. Recommendations from Cummins now say when you start up cold let idle long enough to build air pressure the drive slowly for a few minutes, when coming off the highway they say if you are not under heavy load the turbo will have time to cool down before you come to a stop, if not a cool down period of about 3 minuets is acceptable. With the newer engine you do to much damage to injectors and such by letting them idle too long, and when you consider a set of injectors installed is about 6000.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:05 PM   #4
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I wonder why there is so much concern for idling Diesels? Truckers idle for hours on end when they are sleeping. Isn't a diesel a diesel?
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:44 PM   #5
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These days most truckers shut down the engine after a short cool down. If they need electric they will frequently have a gen set for that. At least this is what a trucker friend told me a couple of years ago.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyDi View Post
I wonder why there is so much concern for idling Diesels? Truckers idle for hours on end when they are sleeping. Isn't a diesel a diesel?
Yes, they do don't they. Truck pulled in a couple of hours ago and parked about 50' away and as soon as the sun went down, he started it up and it has been idling ever since.

Guess he is a driver, not an owner.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:42 AM   #7
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It seems to be a bad habit that people develop from youth, maybe because fuel was cheap 30 years ago. People run into a store and leave their car idling, campers leave their engine running when they check in at a campground etc. so I don't think it is restricted to truck drivers. Perhaps they have trouble starting the engine again, but I think if you are personally paying $4 a gallon you want to shut it down asap.
After starting the engine I wait until oil pressure is up and then hit high idle to inflate the air bags quickly and as soon as the purge valve pops I move off. When I park I shut the engine down as soon as I can as the turbo has always had time to cool down during the slow speed maneuvering when you exit the highway.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:25 AM   #8
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From Five Star DEF's Library of Useful Information on Clean Diesel Technology:

Excessive idling is defined by each state in regulatory protocols that are intended to reduce diesel emissions as required by the 1970 Clean Air Act as amended by the EPA from 2003-2013. You can find each state's legal definition of excessive idling here, and indeed "it depends"

http://www.atri-online.org/research/...ing_Compendium

30 of 50 states and DC have implemented laws that restrict idling of diesel vehicles; expect the remaining 20 to do the same soon. As usual, state lawmakers have made the "simple" into something complex, so many of the individual laws are very complex, and often different. The statutes are not uniformly enforced, but large fines have been levied in highly publicized cases. Expect enforcement to be significant during air quality crisis events that occasionally occur in urban areas.

A summary of penalties:

Minimum fines vary from a warning to over $25,000
Maximum fine is unlimited.

A typical penalty is $50 to $100. Expect enforcement behavior to be motivated by revenue concerns in some areas.

Drivers and owners are equally liable in some states, and both can be fined.

The intent of the EPA legislation is to limit in-city idling by Class 8 Trucks (18 wheelers) and urban transportation buses that can have a serious effect on air quality in urban areas.

There are many exemptions to the idling limits, mostly oriented to situations beyond the driver's control such as weather, traffic, maintenance, etc.

In some states, clean diesels such as those made after 2013 are exempt from idling restriction because they are so clean. In some areas during an air quality crisis with very high levels of particulate matter, clean diesels emit lower levels of particulate matter than they take in.

Summary: The "common sense" definition distilled from a review of all this legalese is 5 minutes or less per hour in ordinary circumstances. Then again, I'm not a lawyer, so it is up to you.

I've attached the ATRI's handy reference card on this subject for those who are interested in the fine details of this law, and want to be fully informed in each state they RV in, although I think everyone on this forum has better things to do with their time

I shut down our F350 after 60 seconds or so after a long highway run at high load to allow cool-down. I warm it up for 60 seconds or so when it is first started. Otherwise, we don't idle a lot. Idling wastes fuel, and tends to load up the DPF, resulting in unnecessary active regeneration that burns extra fuel.

As always, please consider Five Star DEF an IRV2 resource on Clean Diesels, especially Diesel Exhaust Fluid.

Erich
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File Type: pdf ATRI_Idling_Cab_Card.pdf (281.6 KB, 14 views)
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:10 PM   #9
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I have seen folks fire up their Diesel engine for like 30 to 60 minutes while they pack up to leave.. THAT is excessive.. 5 minutes is not.. That's a rail road crossing, or a funeral procession , 2 minutes is a long red light. So that's not excessive.

Watch your temp gauge, if it drops OUT of the safe range (Too cold or too hot depending on the engine) that is excessive idling.

proper idle time for pulling off the campsite.

On my gasser I start the engine then buckle my seat belt.. Most diesels that should work good too.. Just remember inside the campground you drive very gently, JUST enough power to move the beast.. You don't put "The pedal to the metal" till you clear the campground gates.. By that time the engine should be well warmed and lubed.
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:22 PM   #10
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Ok, dash a/c needs to be checked, believe the engine needs to idle for this check, so it's going to idle for a while so the leak can be found in the system, (believe the repair shop used to old hoses after the wreck) so one of those has failed. Regardless, the system will need to then be vacummed down and recharged after that reapir, so again, what is excessive idling, to heck with the law, I am more concerned not to ruin a 80K+ dollar engine.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:20 PM   #11
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"I am more concerned not to ruin a 80K+ dollar engine."

The truck driver I referred to in an earlier post left here at 7am - nearly 13 hours after he first started the engine and settled in for a warm night with the engine idling the whole time. I imagine it is a regular occurrence and his rig ran fine as he drove away, so the little bit you might do now and then isn't going to be catastrophic.
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:01 AM   #12
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I've always wondered about the "fast idle" options. There is an idle speed switch on my armrest; and, a smart wheel function that sets the idle at 1000 rpm. Does anyone know if fast idling prevents the engine damage regular idling causes? If not, why are there two options for fast idle for my 2003 ISL 400?
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:13 AM   #13
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I just rechecked the Apex manual. It says to "allow the engine to warm up to operating temperature +170 degrees F." There is a warning that says: "Do not allow the engine to idle for excessively long periods. Long periods of idling can damage an engine because combustion chamber temperatures drop so low, the fuel will not burn completely. This will cause carbon to build up inside and the valves to stick."
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Old 04-05-2014, 11:15 AM   #14
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SRAlpine,
My 05 doesn't have the high idle switch unless I just can't find it.
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