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Old 03-22-2020, 05:43 PM   #1
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Angry Idling Diesel Engines

Can somebody please explain why the owners of diesel powered vehicles, be it motorhomes, pickup trucks, cars, wheelchairs, motorcycles, roller skates (I know, wheelchairs, motorcycles, roller skates are not available with a diesel engine, but if they were the issue would no doubt be the same) insist on idling their engines while remaining stationary, for perhaps hours on end?
My neighbor on the adjoining site has just taken perhaps twenty minutes to hook up his fifth wheel trailer without shutting down the engine on his truck.
Another neighbor, a half dozen sites away, insists, everyday, on firing up the engine on his diesel pusher and running it for about thirty minutes, without moving his coach one inch! Everyday since we arrived at this park in early December!
What about noise and smelly diesel exhaust pollution spewing out from these vehicles!? Are these people immune to such annoyances?
And, in my experience traveling in North America and Europe this is common everywhere. Is it a macho thing? As far as I know there is not a technical reason why these engines need to remain idling while stationary - is there?

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Old 03-22-2020, 05:52 PM   #2
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Is it possible it is their diesel generators and not their engines or if their engines, maybe they need it to pull slides and/or jacks in ???

As for us, we rarely idle... until it's below 20 for a very long time, there's no need to (and even then it's best just to start it, put it in gear and drive easily away)

'11 Monaco Diplomat 43DFT RR10R pushed by a '14 Jeep Wrangler JKU. History.. 5'ers: 13 Redwood 38gk, 11 MVP Destiny, Open Range TT, popups, vans, tents...
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Old 03-22-2020, 05:58 PM   #3
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I only let mine idle long enough to air up, then leave. just idling for long periods just wastes fuel.
99 Itasca, Sunflyer, ISB Cummins/Allison 36L
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:02 PM   #4
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Its a way of feeling manly.

Listen to the sound of my diesel, sort of a chest thumping thing.

Ask a Harley owner why he runs straight pipes.
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:05 PM   #5
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Because they want to.........

Least of worries why they do it. I do NOT care and it has little impact on me
Is it time for YOUR Medication or Mine?
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:09 PM   #6
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A short 3-5 min idle before shut down is a good idea. After running on the highway everything on and in the engine is hot, very hot. The exhaust manifold may even reach red heat. So letting it idle allows this heat to be dispersed. It allows the exhaust manifold to cool, the turbo charger to slow down and the heat in the turbo bearings to be removed by the oil system. If shut off when really hot the oil will "coke" in the turbo bearings leading to failour sometime later. With synthetic oils this has become less of an issue but remember that turbo still needs to slow down with no oil pressure if shut off too soon.

As far as starting it every day for 30 minutes. There is no reason. Waste of fuel, additional cold start, this is the time of high wear before the full operating temp is reached. This is not bringing it up to full operating temp so that any condensation in the oil will stay in the oil and not be boiled off. This is not a good practice at all.

Re the pickups etc, if it has a turbo, a 3 min idle is a good idea for the above reasons. Actually it is a good idea even for a gas engine with turbo.

Idling any engine, gas or diesel for anything longer is counter to the long life of the engine.

As far as the diesel powered roller skates and skateboards we are working on prototypes as we speak. Emissions are a problem. Very big grin.

Hope this answers your question.
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:11 PM   #7
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By the way, many radio controlled model aircraft engines are diesels.
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:20 PM   #8
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Actually Old Biscuit, it does have an effect on you. The particulate matter, soot, from a Diesel engine is very harmful to the lungs.
Not so much today with DEF.

I must admit though I enjoy the sound of my Duramax as I idle through a campground as I pull in. By the time I've pulled through I can shut it down.
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:28 PM   #9
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I prefer the smell of spent diesel over gasoline!

Excessive idling of a modern diesel, not a good idea!
Ben & Sharon
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Old 03-22-2020, 07:14 PM   #10
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Long idle times have there roots from many years ago. It used to be standard and recommended practice to do so. As battery and started technology evolved and improved it became much less important but standard practice in the trucking world to run ac and heat systems for drivers overnight. Today with new emission, pollution and regeneration systems along with auxiliary power units(generators on RVs) it is totally unnecessary and can be harmful to your engine because the temp gets too cool and air flow inadequate to burn all the fuel clogging the particulate filters and triggering regeneration more frequently with very high exhaust temps. All JMHO
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Old 03-22-2020, 07:17 PM   #11
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Excessive idling is both stupid and extremely inconsiderate, to say nothing of also being very polluting. Just donít understand the thoughtlessness of some people.

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Old 03-22-2020, 08:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Xmcdog View Post
By the way, many radio controlled model aircraft engines are diesels.
Most are 2 cycle glow plug engines. They burn methanol.
That fuel keeps the glow plug hot enough to fire the next stroke.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:36 PM   #13
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:49 PM   #14
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At home I idle mine 10 min or so in the early morning to get the 7 gallons of coolant somewhat warm to give the heater a head start. I still dont get descent heat until about 3 miles down the highway. There are no neighbors within ear shot where its parked.

At RV Parks I dont idle at all. Just put it in 1st gear and let the truck make its way out of the park without using the throttle. Once out on the road I dont really get on it until its up to temp.

I dont really let it cool down before shutting it off unless you literally just got off the highway. I'd say usualy by the time your at your home, pulled into the gas station or into the RV Park its been at low rpm or idle for minuets already.

I do let it idle at the gas station. I see no reason to turn it off for 5 minutes while fueling.

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diesel, engine

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