Diesel Idling (1 Viewer)

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Jul 25, 2022
317
364
Newington, Sittingbourne, Kent, UK
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July 2022
Never had a diesel before until we purchased a motorhome and I've seen on a few posts the warnings about idling diesels particularly when they are cold. Before I saw those posts I wanted a decent 12v compressor to take on the road. Given that it is sensible to run the engine whilst using a compressor to top up tyres, am I being unnecessarily paranoid about idling the engine to top up tyre pressures?
 

PP Bear

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Apr 5, 2013
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I run my engine at idle all the time, to charge or top up batteries, inflate my tyres, clear the screen, or for an hour at a time in storage.

Theres those that say it’s bad, I say no problem and have never had an issue in either my car (had from new since 2006 and run it at idle all the time-110,000+ miles and as sound and oil tight as ever) and had the same van for past 12 years, so chill and run when you need it.

In fact in all my years of owning and operating diesels, it’s never been a problem 👍🏻
 
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ManTheVan

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Jan 11, 2020
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We try to avoid running any engine for just short times from cold. If you start it, let it come up to temperature, was the advice I’ve always been given.
 
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Mar 23, 2012
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Never had a diesel before until we purchased a motorhome and I've seen on a few posts the warnings about idling diesels particularly when they are cold. Before I saw those posts I wanted a decent 12v compressor to take on the road. Given that it is sensible to run the engine whilst using a compressor to top up tyres, am I being unnecessarily paranoid about idling the engine to top up tyre pressures?
You made me wonder so I looked it up most links recommended topping up tyres with the engine off. If the tyre was totally flat it might be a different matter but in that situation I'd have thought I'd have the breakdown people out.

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Oct 9, 2019
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I run my engine at idle all the time, to charge or top up batteries, inflate my tyres, clear the screen, or for an hour at a time in storage.

Theres those that say it’s bad, I say no problem and have never had an issue in either my car (had from new since 2006 and run it at idle all the time-110,000+ miles and as sound and oil tight as ever) and had the same van for past 12 years, so chill and run when you need it.

In fact in all my years of owning and operating diesels, it’s never been a problem 👍🏻
You may be lucky that your diesel is pre Adblue, ECU Nox sensor fitted! If you have a later diesel with these fitted then I have been told my my garage Not to idle the engine as it can clog up the cat and sensors. Resulting in costly regeneration and replacement of sensors, I can vouch for this as my Nox sensor replacement just cost me £400 +
 
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Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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It's OK to to do it if the engine is fully up to temperature but never from cold. Take it for a 10 to 15 mile run then it will be OK but no good for what you want as you would need to let the tyres cool down for an hour before checking then.

As said for doing the tyres you shouldn't need the engine running, if worries about it use the leisure battery.

Modern diesels never get up to operating temperature idling from cold so you stand a good chance of wrecking the DPF & Cat glazing the bores and other problems. There is a least one Funster who was a few grand out of pocket by doing it.

As for PP Bear comments he probably hasn't had any problems because it is an older engine without a DPF and all the modern gizmos, still not a good idea.
 
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Jan 3, 2008
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Pakefield, Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
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You may be lucky that your diesel is pre Adblue, ECU Nox sensor fitted! If you have a later diesel with these fitted then I have been told my my garage Not to idle the engine as it can clog up the cat and sensors. Resulting in costly regeneration and replacement of sensors, I can vouch for this as my Nox sensor replacement just cost me £400 +
Yes, I expect that's why the handbook for my Peugeot based camper says to drive off straight way after starting the engine and not let it idle.
 
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andyelbac
Jul 25, 2022
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July 2022
Thanks for all the comments. On a related issue, the compressor I purchased has some sort of brass adaptor type 'thingy' attached to it (see photo). The instructions are really vague with no diagram pointing out individual components. I think it's used to deflate tyres, which the instructions say this compressor can also do. However, as said, the details are vague as to how this should work. Is the brass thing the deflator and if so, how does it work? What's the ring for? Does anyone have a similar compressor? The make is Vevor although it looks very generic when I compare it to other compressors on fleabay. I've never had to use a compressor before and would rather understand now than wait until I really need it.

20230220_064515.jpg

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Two on Tour

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Thanks for all the comments. On a related issue, the compressor I purchased has some sort of brass adaptor type 'thingy' attached to it (see photo). The instructions are really vague with no diagram pointing out individual components. I think it's used to deflate tyres, which the instructions say this compressor can also do. However, as said, the details are vague as to how this should work. Is the brass thing the deflator and if so, how does it work? What's the ring for? Does anyone have a similar compressor? The make is Vevor although it looks very generic when I compare it to other compressors on fleabay. I've never had to use a compressor before and would rather understand now than wait until I really need it.

View attachment 718362
The brass thing is a valve for deflating i.e. letting air out of a tyre, you pull on the ring and the spring-loaded rod that the ring is attached to will move allowing air to escape,
let the ring go again and the valve will reseal preventing air from escaping.
 
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Shrimp

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May 27, 2015
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Years ago I worked in a Hunting stable in Leicestershire over the winter, we had an old TK horse lorry and when the weather was really cold it was left to idle for ages in the yard every morning.
Maybe modern diesels aren’t so tough!
 
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Aug 22, 2007
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We had an old tk and when it was really cold in the mornings we used to roll up a newspaper dip it in diesel and set light to it stuff it in the air intake leave it for a minute and start it up and then pull the paper out it never failed to start
 
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Oct 9, 2019
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Years ago I worked in a Hunting stable in Leicestershire over the winter, we had an old TK horse lorry and when the weather was really cold it was left to idle for ages in the yard every morning.
Maybe modern diesels aren’t so tough!
Yes, no DPF, no Cat, no stupid crappy sensors 😜
 
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denisejoe

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I used to drive dustbin lorries a one cold winter 5 of us broke down on the duel carriageway near the Blackwall tunnel fitters bought out a small coal brazier and placed it under the fuel tank for a few minutes then under the engine until every one was going

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Jul 6, 2009
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The problem with some Fiats is when using the 12 volt compressor to inflate tyres is if the compressor has to work hard it will take the edge of the battery, as the volts drop the amps increase. That’s is why comments about the cig lighter socket fuse has blown. If you run the engine on tick over this doesn’t happen. But prolonged tick over is not recommended on modern engines.
 
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andyelbac
Jul 25, 2022
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Newington, Sittingbourne, Kent, UK
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July 2022
The problem with some Fiats is when using the 12 volt compressor to inflate tyres is if the compressor has to work hard it will take the edge of the battery, as the volts drop the amps increase. That’s is why comments about the cig lighter socket fuse has blown. If you run the engine on tick over this doesn’t happen. But prolonged tick over is not recommended on modern engines.
This compressor doesn't have the 12v ciggy lighter type plug, it connects directly to the positive and negative terminals under the hood, but I guess the general concensus is either use sparingly without engine idling or use sparingly whilst engine is idling!😁
 
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Two on Tour

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This compressor doesn't have the 12v ciggy lighter type plug, it connects directly to the positive and negative terminals under the hood, but I guess the general concensus is either use sparingly without engine idling or use sparingly whilst engine is idling!😁

If you can get to your leisure battery, then why not use that to power your compressor, then you don't have to worry about running your engine and letting it idle.
 
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Sep 10, 2012
2,184
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If it's a fiat and newer that 2018 then dont idle.
Some horror stories of blocked egr and particulate filters where engine not working efficiently.

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Sep 17, 2017
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Don't let it idle... for prolonged periods and on a regular basis.

Modern diesels take a long time to temperature when idled from cold, which isn't great for engine wear. Which is why you should just get in an drive but just treat it gently for a few minutes. And prolonged and regular idling will prevent the high temperatures required for burn-off, so clog the emissions loops gear and sensors.

But starting it up to run an air compressor for a few minutes once every couple of months isn't going to make a fat load of difference.
 
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Jul 6, 2009
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Hopefully when starting it up to pump up styres is just before using it which will ensure any build up is burnt off
 
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stuartholmes

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Nov 18, 2022
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We had an old tk and when it was really cold in the mornings we used to roll up a newspaper dip it in diesel and set light to it stuff it in the air intake leave it for a minute and start it up and then pull the paper out it never failed to start
And you probably stuffed burning newspaper up the house chimney to save on getting a sweep..

I loved the good old days!
(Just not so old as sending a small boy up with a brush)
 
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ManTheVan

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I bought one of these and it avoids the whole plug-into-the-lighter-socket-and-trip-over-your-wire-in-the-dark issue. Cordless, Li battery, high pressure. Works like a charm. Can also be used plugged in if you've forgotten to charge it...

 
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Aug 22, 2007
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2017 sunlight t69s euro6
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since 1999
And you probably stuffed burning newspaper up the house chimney to save on getting a sweep..

I loved the good old days!
(Just not so old as sending a small boy up with a brush)
not only the tk the volvos and the scanias used to start no matter how cold but they was sweedish

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stuartholmes

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Nov 18, 2022
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I bought one of these and it avoids the whole plug-into-the-lighter-socket-and-trip-over-your-wire-in-the-dark issue. Cordless, Li battery, high pressure. Works like a charm. Can also be used plugged in if you've forgotten to charge it...

I tried one of those a while ago but swapped it for a smaller (and cheaper!) one on the same general principle & used it just this morning to great effect on a flat tyre. Plenty of battery charge to go all round if just topping up but in extremis can be run from the lighter socket.
One of my better purchases ☺☺!

Was going to suggest it but thought I must be missing something so glad you did.

Thoroughly recommendable.
 
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Oct 29, 2016
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andyelbac
Your Vevor Tyre Inflator has a good spec quoting 160ltrs of air per minute, seems to be well built etc, so should be quicker than most, at the same price level.
I cannot get a T Max as they are out of stock at a reasonable price, dont want any more Ring products, so thought I might give the Vevor a try.
When you have tried it on The MH, please give us a review update on its performance, its draws up to 45 amps, so connected to leisure batteries is good advice. saves you worrying about the cab battery and running the engine from cold.
Good luck.
LES
 
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pappajohn

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If your battery goes flat just topping up four tyres without running the engine you need a new battery.
Average small compressed draws around 10amps......that 10amps PER HOUR.
If your battery can't provide that it definitely needs replacing.
 
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