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Old 12-11-2010, 03:05 PM   #1
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Diesel Idling

Itís a beautiful December day here in SoCal. Makes me wish we were camping instead of staying home preparing for Christmas.

I just returned from a trip to my local Home Depot. As I was pulling into the parking lot, I saw a nice looking Providence motorhome, a year or two newer than mine. As I drove by admiring it, I saw itís driver exit the coach and go inside the store. After parking, I walked past the coach, void of any visible occupants, and noticed that the engine was still running. Totally necessary, considering it was 70 degrees at the time, and the engine was obviously at operating temperature since it had been driven there.

I did my shopping and returned to my car almost 30 minutes later. As I walked past the Providence again, the engine was still running. To the life of me, I donít understand why people still do this. Not only are they wasting fuel, but idling for long periods of time can be detrimental to the engine. I donít own a Cummins engine, but I do know that Cat warns against excessive idling.

I wanted to leave a note on the guyís windshield, but Iím not the exhaust police, so I shook my head and walked away.

Craig
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Old 12-11-2010, 03:17 PM   #2
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Old 12-11-2010, 03:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig P. View Post
Itís a beautiful December day here in SoCal. Makes me wish we were camping instead of staying home preparing for Christmas.

I just returned from a trip to my local Home Depot. As I was pulling into the parking lot, I saw a nice looking Providence motorhome, a year or two newer than mine. As I drove by admiring it, I saw itís driver exit the coach and go inside the store. After parking, I walked past the coach, void of any visible occupants, and noticed that the engine was still running. Totally necessary, considering it was 70 degrees at the time, and the engine was obviously at operating temperature since it had been driven there.

I did my shopping and returned to my car almost 30 minutes later. As I walked past the Providence again, the engine was still running. To the life of me, I donít understand why people still do this. Not only are they wasting fuel, but idling for long periods of time can be detrimental to the engine. I donít own a Cummins engine, but I do know that Cat warns against excessive idling.

I wanted to leave a note on the guyís windshield, but Iím not the exhaust police, so I shook my head and walked away.

Craig
I probably would not do that for that long , but I fire mine up in AM, hit the road and don't shut it down until I am at campsite. If I refuel with gasoline pumps around I shut down but not at diesel truck islands.

Lots of things can happen, like once I lost a starter solenoid in Walmart overnight stop and know a fellow who lost his in Flying J and really tied up traffic for several hours.

So, my diesel is not 'fumey' and I do it just like most truckers do, leave it running. And I know I am not the only RVer to do this.

Bob
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Old 12-11-2010, 03:40 PM   #4
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08 Cummins manual specifically says "no excessive idling". The problem is they don't define excessive.
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Old 12-11-2010, 03:44 PM   #5
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You guys are being a little critical don't you think? I would understand someones individual choice for not excessively idling and engine but how is this anyone else's business?
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Old 12-11-2010, 03:52 PM   #6
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Monacoach,
It's everyones business because it adds unnecessary pollution to the air and uses fuel that does not need to be used.

As for letting it idle because the truckers do, just because lots of people do it, it does not make it the right thing to do.
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:20 PM   #7
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As for letting it idle because the truckers do, just because lots of people do it, it does not make it the right thing to do.
Actually most truckers don't do it any longer, as they have figured out that it wastes diesel fuel which takes $$ from their pocket. In fact, most fleet diesels these days have an idle cutoff which shuts the engine down after idling about 5 minutes (the fleet owner's have figured this out too).

Some states actually have laws on the books regarding long idle periods due to the pollution issue.

It is harmful to the engine because excessive idling causes raw fuel to wash down the cylinder walls and dilutes the engine oil.
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:23 PM   #8
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I think it can even get you a $250 ticket in California if I'm not mistaken.

I got a pretty good lecture from a Cummins shop on this topic once and have since made sure that my engine gets 4 or 5 minutes to cool down after being at freeway speeds but then I shut down if I'm going to be stopped.

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Old 12-11-2010, 04:24 PM   #9
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Monacoach,
It's everyones business because it adds unnecessary pollution to the air and uses fuel that does not need to be used.
[moderator edit] THOSE people that want to rule already have you but have a LONG way to go on me! IMHO of course.

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Old 12-11-2010, 04:34 PM   #10
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. [moderator edit] THOSE people that want to rule already have you but have a LONG way to go on me! IMHO of course.

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Old 12-11-2010, 04:44 PM   #11
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Monacoach,
It's everyones business because it adds unnecessary pollution to the air and uses fuel that does not need to be used.
What is your gas mileage with that 99 Alpine coach? Thanks for the chuckle.
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:48 PM   #12
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On my Detroit Diesel Series 60 I am required to go to fast idle if I am going to idle for more than five minutes. I do this via the cruise control and my fast idle is 1000 rpm. My fuel consumption at 1000 RPM is 1.4 gallons per hour $$$$$$$. Now according to Detroit at fast idle I can let it idle forever. Trucks do it either because they need the AC in the summer or the heater in the winter. They are starting to install small diesel generators in trucks now. There are a lot of roadside rest areas that have signs up that say no idling for more than five minutes.

Now that motorhome with his motor running may have had bad batteries that he was trying to charge them up or some other valid reason. I would like to think that.
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:58 PM   #13
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On my Dodge / Cummins pickup I got a mod that allows me to hit high idle 6 cylinder or 3 cylinder to keep the engine warm on super cold winters. Or in the summer I kick the high idle on to keep the A/C going cold...

I've used this little mod for 3 years now and love it...
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:25 PM   #14
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He's probably old school, back in the day before good starting systems you didn't want to start a diesel over and over if you didn't have to. Nowadays it's not an issue except that when it does eventually break it will be at the worst possible place.

Quote:
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On my Dodge / Cummins pickup I got a mod that allows me to hit high idle 6 cylinder or 3 cylinder to keep the engine warm on super cold winters. Or in the summer I kick the high idle on to keep the A/C going cold...

I've used this little mod for 3 years now and love it...
Mind giving me a link?
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