1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Idling bad for truck?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Brains, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. Brains

    Brains Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    Any diesel owners know if idling is bad for the engine? A buddy of mine has been hauling around my Bobcat and we've been doing some light snow removal, and while we're clearing snow, he just lets his truck sit and idle, saying it's better than to shut it off and then turn it back, plus it keeps the cab warm for when we're going again. I told him that's ridiculous and couldn't be good for his engine, but he said it's totally fine and not a problem on the engine. His truck is a 2011 F350 diesel.

    Besides wasted fuel (which isn't a issue for him as he gets free diesel from his oil patch job, so he fuels up his 110 gal transfer tank and had his stock fuel tank replaced with a 52 gallon aftermarket tank which he also tops off so he basically always has fuel (also, is it even legal to carry 162 gallons of fuel without some sort of special license/permit?)), my question is does it cause large amounts of wear on the engine? I have a new 2015 Duramax coming and for short drive way jobs I'll probably just leave my truck running too if idling is not a big deal.
  2. SnowFakers

    SnowFakers Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 944

    From what I've gathered is that if it will be for over an hour the throttle should be raised to stop cylinder wash, anything less than that and no harm.

    I let my truck idle a lot when it gets cold. Warm months not so much
  3. Brains

    Brains Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    OK. Should I look into having a high idle switch installed that I can quickly switch on and off when truck is idling? I also probably won't idle for anything longer than 30-45 mins.
  4. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    General rule I've gone by my whole life on the farm, any diesels if your sitting longer then 20 min, shut it down, otherwise let her run
  5. hellion

    hellion Member
    Messages: 52

    Old school diesels (pre epa, low sulfur fuels, and hi boost turbos) could idle for hours with no problem. Today's high performance engines are not set up or tuned for long idling sessions. Ask the brand's tech support or the local dealership's service manager for specific user info
  6. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    The biggest problem you guys will run into with those trucks is the extended idle time will cause it to regen more often due to plugging up the exhaust filter. None of those problems would happen though if the truck is tuned and deleted.
    My 06 duramax sits and idles sometimes 8-9hrs if I'm out on the road and sleeping in it while waiting to load/unload.
  7. Brains

    Brains Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    OK thanks everyone. Great input. I will ask my dealer upon my trucks arrival. Should be any day now.
  8. MK97

    MK97 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,057

    You need a high idle mod if you're going to be idling a lot. There's a reason why a lot of newer diesels are starting to roll out of the factory with this.

    Wet stacking is a good way to ruin your engine. Not to mention injectors don't like it either. When I was at the Ford dealer, there was a 2013 6.7 getting a new engine. Cause, it was left for long times at base idle.
  9. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    "Wet stacking is a good way to ruin your engine."
    Thumbs Up

    This can happen to old diesels more so than the new ones.
    His newer truck will or should idle up on it's own if the temps fall to low unlike the olschool diesels.

    a lot of trucks come with a PTO option, even without the physical PTO you can have this function enabled.

    why?? you ask?
    so you can not use the cruise control as a hand throttle
    setting the idle at ant rpm you choose.

    Then if he has an exhaust brake turn it on as it take hp to run it, this increases the load that in turn increases the heat the engine generates.

    I bet he's deleted?

    or prolonged idling would clog up the dpf.
  10. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,481

    If it was a '13 it would have been replaced under warranty. Mine only has 23K on it, but I'd let the MoCo give me a new engine under warranty, no problem! I do idle for long periods, but I keep my engine brake turned on which is supposed allow it to idle up and cause fewer problems. I'm not a mechanic by any means, so I can't say with any authority, but thus far I haven't had any problems with mine. And I bought a 100K warranty, so if anything goes wrong prior to that I don't give a s***.
  11. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    Right or wrong, diesel or gas, if the truck is working it doesn't get shut off until the job(s) are done. Guy I worked for years ago told me that and I thought it was pretty stupid so I always shut the trucks off while out shoveling...that was until the starter solenoid went bad and I was stranded in a parking lot, middle of the night no less, during a snow event.

    I think most diesels will idle up after they sit for a while.
    Mistifier likes this.
  12. NThill93

    NThill93 Member
    Messages: 96

    I always keep my Cummins idling starting a diesel is a lot harder on starters and batteries than on a gas motor. I knew a milk delivery guy who had a 7.3PSD that had 500k on it and he said it probably have more idle time than driving time.
  13. Bill Grey

    Bill Grey Member
    Messages: 43

    I'm no diesel mechanic but I do drive one. From what I've learned, idling for long periods is no good. You will load up egr valves and other pollution control devices. I've let mine idle before while on the beach for an hour or so and after I leave and step down on the gas, the black smoke pours out. It takes a few minutes for it to go away. Diesels always want a load on them and they need heat to run correctly. Most trucks will not go into high idle unless you've installed a mod to do so or the engine is cold. Once my Ford is warmed up, it will not go into high idle mode anymore. I would advise against it and I'm sure the dealer will as well. Find a good Gm truck forum and see what they say in there as well.
  14. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Actually Bill they do idle up on their own, right from the factory with the factory tune,nothing needs to be added.
    They now are run by a computer with temp sensors all over the place.

    You can now park your warm truck after using it.
    Let idle then if it gets to cold it will idle up on it's own and it will cycles the grid heaters as needed. .
    Well, at least the folks at cummins thought it was a good idea for it to idle up on it's own, when the temps fall .

    egr only opens to attempt to help warm it up on cold starts.
    other wise egr it is used to lower combustion temps, to lower NOX production and is closed at idel.

    but my egr stopped working for some reason....;)

    Also turn on your engine brake for a load.
    It's in the book, for quicker warm ups.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
  15. Robinson_Cnst

    Robinson_Cnst Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    If it's below freezing I don't shut my 5.9 Cummins down until I'm done working. It high idles automatically and cycles the grid heaters as needed. Never had any fuel wash. It's been ran as long as 40 plus hours, mostly idleing.
  16. SnowFakers

    SnowFakers Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 944

    While it's snowing, don't shut it down... I try not to mess with things while work needs to be done and if it's running now don't mean it's gunna run when I come back after shutting it off.
  17. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,980

    whatever it is if sitting i try to keep the idle around 1200 rpm....keeps everything flowing and warm
  18. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,372

    I sometimes let my Ford L9000 with a 3306 CAT idle for hours at night when I'm taking a break from plowing roads.
  19. Citytow

    Citytow Senior Member
    from phila
    Messages: 548

    we dont shut them off until they're done . they keep door keys in pocket.
  20. Pit Crew

    Pit Crew Senior Member
    Messages: 162

    I`m no mechanic either, but I did stay at a Holiday in last night........ seriously though, my 2014 f250 6.2 gas has about 9100 miles,271 hours and 25 idle hours. I have no idea how it has that many idle hours on it,I try not to let it idle at all. Still shooting for better mileage. Any one know how the hours are measured? Idle hrs just in park? Idle hrs in with the total?