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 > When did idling become bad for diesels?

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NewsW

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Posted: 03/10/12 09:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

nat:

One instance that is good to idle a diesel:

After a very hard long run (e.g. pulling full load / output) up mountain.

It is best not to shut down the engine at the gas station / rest stop at the top of the hill.

Let it idle for about 5 or 10 min to gradual cool down the parts.


I tracked a lot of FICM failures on the 6.0 to the heat soak that happens when that is done --- intense temperature underhood built up with nowhere to go, and no cooling air.



--------

In extreme cold, -40F or lower, constanting running idling warms the fuel in the tank, and is often the only way to prevent the tank from gelling solid -- unless you used Arctic diesel.

ScottG

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Posted: 03/10/12 09:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It has never been good to idle a diesel excessively. Even my old 1982 6.2 detroit in a Chev had erosion damage to the tips of the injectors from this. The problem has always been that the combustion chamber temps drop too low and the ignition process suffers resulting in both inj. wear and cyl. wash down.
Newer diesels try to combat this by idling up and altering fuel delivery.


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Posted: 03/10/12 09:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NewsW wrote:

nat:

One instance that is good to idle a diesel:

After a very hard long run (e.g. pulling full load / output) up mountain.

It is best not to shut down the engine at the gas station / rest stop at the top of the hill.

Let it idle for about 5 or 10 min to gradual cool down the parts.


I tracked a lot of FICM failures on the 6.0 to the heat soak that happens when that is done --- intense temperature underhood built up with nowhere to go, and no cooling air.



--------

In extreme cold, -40F or lower, constanting running idling warms the fuel in the tank, and is often the only way to prevent the tank from gelling solid -- unless you used Arctic diesel.


X2 on this, most vehicle manuals will give you guidelines for idle time after heavy towing usage....


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korbe

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Posted: 03/10/12 09:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My deisel will tell me when it's time to take off. It won't move much if I put it in drive and it's still really cold.


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Posted: 03/10/12 10:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The cool down after a hard run is primarily needed for turbo charged engines - the turbos run very hot.

In many areas of the country there are no laws (with very stiff penalties) against excessive idling do to pollution issues.


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NewsW

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Posted: 03/10/12 10:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is this little exemption in most no idling laws for, the operation of auxiliary equipment, HVAC, and other escape hatches that let you get away with it if it is needed.

Generally, the rule of thumb is not to be an a hole about it, like idling parked next to a family camped in a tent at midite, with pipe pointed their way, etc.

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Posted: 03/10/12 01:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You would be hard pressed to get a modern day diesel to wet stack. I grew up on a ranch in southern Oklahoma where we had some diesel tractors. They were the old style with the pony engines for starters. Once you got one of those beast running, you weren't about to shut it down till the job was finished. LOL We would run the throttle up a bit and never had any problems. If it took a week to plow a field, that is how long the tractor ran, 24 sevens.
The years I lived in Alaska, 25+, at times I would leave my diesel running for up to two or three weeks at a time. Shut it down daily to check the oil level and fire it back up. Never had any engine problems. It was so nice to get into a vehicle that had been running all night when it was -40°F or colder. Still had to have all synthetic fluids in it or it wouldn't want to move.
I still let my current diesel idle for a couple of hours at times, with the AC running for my dog, if he is with me. The Dodge Cummins has over 128,000 miles on it and running fine. I don't like to idle one just to hear it rattle, but if I have a reason I sure will let it run.


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Posted: 03/10/12 01:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ScottG wrote:

It has never been good to idle a diesel excessively. Even my old 1982 6.2 detroit in a Chev had erosion damage to the tips of the injectors from this. The problem has always been that the combustion chamber temps drop too low and the ignition process suffers resulting in both inj. wear and cyl. wash down.
Newer diesels try to combat this by idling up and altering fuel delivery.


This is the right answer. In cold weather an idling diesel is not working and the temperature well drop and fuel is not being burned and can end up what they call wet stacking. Unburned fuel in the exhaust. By running the engine at high idle well keep the internal temp up because of more work or if you have and exhaust brake this well put some load on the engine to help keep heat up. This is one of the reasons on diesel generators (big ones) they use a load bank on them to keep a load on them when they are testing. On the communications site that I was the manager at before retiring we had 7 big Cat diesels generators that we use to have to load test every week to make sure they were ready to handle the load if we lost commerical power and we had load banks for them.


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Posted: 03/10/12 01:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All the people that said never gets the prize. Look up wet stacking for just "one" of the reasons it's a bad idea.


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durallymax

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Posted: 03/10/12 03:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are all of the old timer arrangement's about idling and the answer truly is that it is never good for the engine to idle it excessively unless for cool down procedure. That being said, it's not going to internally implode. YOu have to base it off of the circumstances. If you are living in 60* weather just sitting at home. You probably don't need the truck running for any reason. If its cold out, hot out, or you need it to run some accessories, then run it.

cool down is important for many parts, however most people never need to cool-down because they already have while slowing down and pulling off. The exception is if you pull off while climbing or at the peak of the hill.


The main idling issues come into play with newer trucks with DPFs (07+). Idling generates a lot of particulate matter because of the low heat. In addition to that, the exhaust never comes close to being hot enough to passively regenerate the DPF thus requiring an active regeneration. Active Regens on engines without a downstream injector (currently LML duramax is the only light duty truck with one) can have fuel dilution issues with their oil.


The answer is yes and no. depends on your situation.

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