extended diesel idling

Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
1,153
Location
Washington
My neighbor has a fairly new (4-5 yrs old) Dodge Ram with the CTD. Every day before work he starts it up and lets it idle for 15-20 minutes before he drives off. We live in Western Washington and the overnight temps this time of year are typically 35-40 degrees. Will the extended idling at startup cause any long term affects?
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2002
Messages
43,675
Location
'Stralia
Most of the affects will be to his wallet, and a small amount will be WRT glaciers, polar caps and gulf streams. Shove a potato up his exhaust.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2005
Messages
971
Location
Boston
Stewart Fan. Perhaps I am reading into this but the excessive idling is probably a noise factor for you. If it is then just get a copy of your states engine idling rules for diesels and annonymously mail it to the clown. The penalties are high and most states do not allow over 5 minutes. The second offense is probably in the $500.00 range! There is no need for that noise or fuel consuption @ your warm temps. anyway. He probably didn't get any toys as a kid and really likes the noise!
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2003
Messages
335
Location
Owego, NY
Dittos to previous comments .. Another point to consider ...Extended idling a cold diesel will not usually get it up to operating temperature.. it needs to be driven .. a cold front cover also helps when temperatures are 30deg and below… increased carbon/soot build-up is also a factor. IMHO a good practice is to let the engine idle for several minutes and then drive "easy" until the temperature starts to come up and oil pressure drops from the cold peak. [Smile]
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2003
Messages
4,478
Location
Southern California
Diesel engines have one fundemental operational advantage over their gasoline counterparts: There's NO intake throttle. These bad boys always draw as much air as their intake plumbing can deliver. Engine speed is controlled strictly by fuel delivery, not throttling down intake of air. With that in mind, fuel dilution of the motor oil in an idling diesel is as close to nill as possible.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2003
Messages
335
Location
Owego, NY
An interesting article on Diesel Idling ... Fleet Watch -Idlingtrucks ... a few snips from the article ... Patrick Swan, failure analysis expert, explains: "At start-up, part of the fuel is burned during a cold start, the rest causes some fuel dilution or is expelled out the exhaust where we see a whitish grey smoke - which is really a mist of fine atomised fuel droplets. As an engine warms up, combustion becomes more complete and the white smoke disappears." Diesel engines are made to work - and work at high temperature. That is when they are most efficient. Now consider an engine idling for long periods. There's not enough heat generated during combustion to keep the engine warm, so it cools down. The actual temperature in the combustion chamber can drop close to the temperature of a cold start, which eliminates efficient combustion and causes fuel dilution." Swan adds further that: "Engines work best at normal operating temperature. As the temperature drops, combustion becomes less efficient causing both a higher fuel consumption and fuel dilution. “It's the very fact that a diesel engine is allowed to idle continuously that results in the breaking down of lubrication additive packages, accelerated engine wear and a need for more frequent service intervals.” [Smile]
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2004
Messages
1,087
Location
Germantown TN 38138
Also, fuel consumption by a diesel is almost nil at idle. I have read that is is common for diesel engines to be allowed to idle overnight in extremely cold climates.
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Messages
1,261
Location
KY
My step-fathers pete runs for 2 to 3 weeks at a time over half that is idiling. I dont think he has ever had a problem. A diesel takes it alot better than a gas engine.
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
44
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
My owners manual for my Dodge Cummins does not recommend excessive idling. It states to warm the truck up for three minutes in summer driving but only warns against winter idling causing severe temperature differentials across the intake of my truck. I just had an Espar Hydronic diesel heater installed by Cummins Western Canada and this unit uses diesel fuel to fire a block heater. It heats my coolant up to operating temp. within an hour and it uses ten times less fuel than idling.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
6,497
Location
New Braunfels
Whenever the temps are below -30°f we must leave our diesle trucks idling in the arctic. About half of the Ford powerstrokes refuse to start if they are allowed to get cold at those temps and a mechanic with a fired heater will come and help the engine start.. and anyone ever hearing a -45 diesl start wouldn't like it. If it's warmer than -30 we just plug them in all the time when not driving them and give them about a 15 minute warmup.. Go out start the truck remove snow, go get a cup of coffee and go out and drive away. Usually there are about 3 months a year when that truck is only shut down for fueling and oil changes. My work truck is a 2002 1 ton superduty and it has 50k miles on it and it idles alot, I have had it since new and in the summer it drives on dusty gravel roads and in the winter it idles all the time. The only theng that has worn out is the cam positioning sensor which took the mechanics only a few minutes to replace.. and a torque converter repaired under warranty. After idling all night I will often run it at higher RPMS (leaving the tranny in 2nd gear) per instructions to help clean out the carbon from the EGR system. The EGR valves are also a failure point from this activity when the truck never gets pushed to get hot. (You can't drive to fast on ice and I don't pull a trailer so 2nd gear and 45 mph is my engine heater.)
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2004
Messages
483
Location
Goose Creek, SC
quote:
the cummins diesel is a inline 6 very similar in design to the inlines of the big rigs. truckers will let their trucks idle for days at a time in some cases without any harm to the engine however they idle up the engine to limit the amount of fuel dilution to the oil. those diesels usually idle around 600rpm or so but when they idle they bump them up to around 1200 and can let them go a long time without any harm. they sell after market set ups for the cummins that allows the owner to do the same.
Well I happen to own one of these Big Cummins engines and Yes, I do idle it up to 900-1000 rpm if I idle to run the AC. If it is extremely cold out and need heat, I may bump it to 1100rpm. But here is the reality...extended idling is not good for the engine...ONLY idle if you need comfort (AC or heat). In fact, it is better to get an APU for the hotel comforts and stop using a 14 Litre engine as a cab heater. The more I idle, the more it shows on UOA's with higher elemental wear and higher fuel dilution. Bottomline, just because you see truckers doing it doesn't mean it's not an issue. Hammer
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
3,439
Location
FL
the cummins diesel is a inline 6 very similar in design to the inlines of the big rigs. truckers will let their trucks idle for days at a time in some cases without any harm to the engine however they idle up the engine to limit the amount of fuel dilution to the oil. those diesels usually idle around 600rpm or so but when they idle they bump them up to around 1200 and can let them go a long time without any harm. they sell after market set ups for the cummins that allows the owner to do the same.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
1,183
Location
Vermont
Very interesting. In a haynes diesel repair manual that speaks of a few of the light truck/van/passenger car GM and Ford diesels, spec.ed oil pressures are like 7 and 10psi @ idle, and 30 and 45psi @ 1,500 and respectively 2,000rpm. Close to the 10psi/1000rpm rule, but having to move around those heavy slugs of aluminum and rod... [Eek!] Yes considerations were taken when figuring out load surface areas of the bearings, though it's mentioned around here that it's the turning motion that helps to promote a hydrodynamic film. When it comes down to it, people are going to do just what they please when left to their own devices, and it's not like they're literally threatening anyone. I don't have any experience with diesels or dig rigs, though I remain amazed by there work on the roads an rails. About sending an enonomous note of any code viloations, one could also send them a copy of the info. on the previously mentioned link. Though I haven't yet read it, the exerpts provided seem like it may back you're argument, and show the individual that it's more out of concern rather than irritation, esspecially if they ever should find out the source of the notification. "Good" neighbors are the best neighbors to have.
 
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
336
Location
Texas
All this takes me down memory lane to when I was an armor platoon leader in Germany a million years ago. We had M-60 tanks with an air-cooled V-12 diesel turning 750 HP, and during the winter months (half the year) we ran straight 10-weight oil in them. We had to be prepared to move out quickly to fight the godless commie hordes from the other side of the inner-German border, and that meant the tanks had to crank up in weather well below freezing. This meant detailing troopers to fire up the engines twice nightly to ensure they'd start when required. We ran the engines at about 2000 rpm to warm them up. Lower rpm's would mean the engine oil would thicken (remember, air-cooled engines) and result in spectacular failures in oil cooler lines and cooling fan tower seals. Spectacular because oil sprayed all over the tank, the crew, and the motor pool. What's the point of this story? I forget. (Goes back to gumming his gruel).
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2004
Messages
483
Location
Goose Creek, SC
quote:
All this takes me down memory lane to when I was an armor platoon leader in Germany a million years ago. We had M-60 tanks with an air-cooled V-12 diesel turning 750 HP, and during the winter months (half the year) we ran straight 10-weight oil in them. We had to be prepared to move out quickly to fight the godless commie hordes from the other side of the inner-German border, and that meant the tanks had to crank up in weather well below freezing. This meant detailing troopers to fire up the engines twice nightly to ensure they'd start when required. We ran the engines at about 2000 rpm to warm them up. Lower rpm's would mean the engine oil would thicken (remember, air-cooled engines) and result in spectacular failures in oil cooler lines and cooling fan tower seals. Spectacular because oil sprayed all over the tank, the crew, and the motor pool.
Tony...give this man a Military Veteran Avatar...he definately deserves one. Hammer
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Messages
1,614
Location
Ohio
I installed a "High Idle Box" on my Dodge Cummins and if I need to let it Idle I just ramp up the rpm's to about 1300, hit the switch and Im good. My UOA's have all been fine.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Messages
4,378
Location
Camas, WA
As others noted extended idling isn't good for the engine, even Cummins warns against it. The engines will cool too much, where stock engines have a high idle feature when it gets too cold while starting, and an exhaust brake can be used for when idling to keep the temps up. Our unit had the M48 tanks, and we got the 'new' M60 tanks around 1976. The Marines were still using them in the 1st Gulf war, but they were quickly replaced afterwards. I can remember seeing a huge radial engine in Fairbanks, from a B36. Tanks are bad enough, can you imagine trying to keep one of those operational in the winter ?
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2004
Messages
1,910
Location
Vista, CA
A guy in our area with a Ford P/S 6.0 350 leaves his engine idling in the parking lot when he goes shopping. He says it's a diesel and it's better to keep it running than to stop it and start it again. I don't know why he even owns such a big truck. He never tows anyghing and the most he hauls are the groceries. But he did lift it about a food with hugh tires and lots of shocks, hoses and levers sticking up in those wheel wells. He also installed something called a Big Hoss Bundle from Banks to make more power and noise. He uses Amsoil and the Amsoil dealer told him that with this synthetic oil he can idle it as much as he wants, it won't hurt the engine. Isn't it better to turn off the engine every time you stop, with a diesel powered diesel. Is it possible that our friend with the 350 is doing damage that won't show up until much later? And dosen't the PS have issues with oil foaming and injector problems? I guess these kind of owners are doing their part to support the economy and we shouldn't complaign.
 
Top