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Old 09-30-2017, 11:41 PM   #1
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Leaving your toad running at idle while being towed?

I see so many people on this forum that have a vehicle they would like to tow but aren’t able to for one reason or another. Towing a two wheel drive with an automatic transmission or an awd. If the toad ran at idle the transmission fluid would circulate eliminating the need to purchase a vehicle that is “four down towable”. You would have to adjust your auxiliary braking system to press the pedal much lighter. With the toad running your antilock brakes would work and problems with electric steering would be eliminated. Having to pull fuses or disconnect batteries would not be an issue. Running at idle wouldn’t use much gas and your charging system would keep battery fully charged. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:51 PM   #2
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You will be accumulating a lot of mileage with the odometer active.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:57 PM   #3
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Would be ok until for some reason the engine stopped unbeknownst to you - and you continued driving along.
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Old 10-01-2017, 12:04 AM   #4
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Wonder why f so simple that Vehicle Mfgs do NOT recommend it in the 'towing section' of owners manual
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Old 10-01-2017, 12:11 AM   #5
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Our toadster ('06.5 Scion xB manual trans) is 4 wheel down towable... however We are limited to 55mph & have to stop every 200 miles to let it idle for 5 minutes to insure that the mainshaft gear cluster gets lubed..(As per Toyota)
So...
I just leave it in neutral and let it idle as we go down the road without worrying about the trans not getting lubed.(or the 55 mph)
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Old 10-01-2017, 05:11 AM   #6
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Long idle periods are not good for engines.
I think you will see problems long term.
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Old 10-01-2017, 10:03 AM   #7
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Long idle periods are not good for engines.
I think you will see problems long term.
I've heard that before but don't know any specifics. What do long idle periods do to a gas engine that is harmful?
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Old 10-01-2017, 10:16 AM   #8
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My understanding is it has to do with piston / cylinder wear being different w no or lo load. Also believe that's why early attempts to cut out # cylinders under light power needs were failures.
I do know the more recent Honda system that cuts out cylinders deactivates the valves to keep the compression load on the cylinder.
Best practice and recommendation for warming up gas or diesel engine is brief idle followed by light load and increasing RPM until normal operating temps reached. Extended idle is not recommended.
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Old 10-01-2017, 10:59 AM   #9
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I've heard that before but don't know any specifics. What do long idle periods do to a gas engine that is harmful?


Oil not being tossed to all the spots that need it, engine oil systems are designed to be efficient at cruising speeds. Some are better at idle then others. A few have oil nozzles that shoot into the bottoms of cylinders. Personally I wouldn't do it unless it was emergency situation for a short distance.
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Old 10-01-2017, 11:19 AM   #10
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At idle not all fuel is burnt so raw fuel will wash cylinder walls down removing any/all oil residue causing increase in wear/tear on rings/cylinder walls, raw fuel will leak past rings can dilute oil and alternators do not push much current at idle so battery may be drawn down.

Normal means.......NO
Emergency situation.......Maybe. But can't think of what that scenario would be.
(Emergency situation just unhook and drive toad)
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Old 10-01-2017, 12:36 PM   #11
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I would try to find a way around idling the engine while towing, although I did this once to keep batteries charged and lights on while towing the vehicle all night that I used for transportation to pick up a truck about 800 miles away. It is a long story with a lot of kinks and misrepresentations, but in the end all turned out well. I would not want to repeat it.

Just my 2c.

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Old 10-02-2017, 11:28 AM   #12
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At idle not all fuel is burnt so raw fuel will wash cylinder walls down removing any/all oil residue causing increase in wear/tear on rings/cylinder walls, raw fuel will leak past rings can dilute oil and alternators do not push much current at idle so battery may be drawn down.

Normal means.......NO
Emergency situation.......Maybe. But can't think of what that scenario would be.
(Emergency situation just unhook and drive toad)
I think that an oil analysis would tell a lot about gas dilution and incomplete burning. It would be interesting and informative.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:13 PM   #13
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Tried that on a 16 Buick when the battery went dead. After jumping it I left it idle while going down the road. Problem was the newer cars shut off after 20 min or so.

Good luck

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Old 10-03-2017, 11:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
At idle not all fuel is burnt so raw fuel will wash cylinder walls down removing any/all oil residue causing increase in wear/tear on rings/cylinder walls, raw fuel will leak past rings can dilute oil and alternators do not push much current at idle so battery may be drawn down.

Normal means.......NO
Emergency situation.......Maybe. But can't think of what that scenario would be.
(Emergency situation just unhook and drive toad)
At idle not all fuel is burnt so raw fuel will wash cylinder walls down removing any/all oil residue causing increase in wear/tear

Well Sir,
I think that statement is a bit off. The primary reason is, about 100% of the smog stations across America would pick that up in a heart beat. And, not only that but, it would mean that, in stop and go traffic, long stop lights, crowded stop signs (inching forward for extended periods of time) and a whole lot more scenarios where the engine was running at less than mid or more throttle, you'd be pouring fuel into the engine and, if your oil was that diluted, there'd be a lot more engine damage all across America. And oil changes would be every 1000 miles instead of what they are now.

I personally would NEVER idle our toad engines when towing, if I was paid to. I would have no control over what potentially could happen. We've owned more than a dozen toads over the years and each and every one of them was sought after for two reasons. One, for flat towing, and two, for their appearance, comfort, useability and more. There's just too many flat towable toads out there that to us, there's simply no need to jump through hoops to flat tow.
Scott
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