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Old 01-19-2009, 11:17 AM   #41
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So what are these people thinking? My guess is that most are just ignorant. Perhaps some are too lazy to turn the key??
Right on both.
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:53 PM   #42
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It's waste of a commodity that is owned by the person wasting it. I've no objection to that. If we (as a society) want people to pay the true costs of burning petroleum (political, environmental, etc) , we should have a gasoline tax that includes these costs. Writing laws that pinpoint-target certain uses as "acceptable" and other uses as "unacceptable" is not the way to solve the problem. Why should it be okay for a single driver in Hummer to burn 20 gallons in a day driving to the mall, while the guy driving the 40 MPG econobox has to shut off his motor rather burn a thimble full of gas idling the car so he can run the heater when it is -10 deg outside?
I agree if they had such laws where I live I'd just keep it in gear with the clutch locked just enough to travel at one inch a week. Then go home and use a gallon of gas to light my barbecue. Assuming someone else was paying for my gas.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:13 PM   #43
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I agree if they had such laws where I live I'd just keep it in gear with the clutch locked just enough to travel at one inch a week. Then go home and use a gallon of gas to light my barbecue. Assuming someone else was paying for my gas.
Hey, if the law only prohibits idling, I'd put it in neutral and put a feather weight on the gas. My car might idle around 600 rpm, and a tiny bit of gas would put it at 700 rpm, or 100 rpm above idle speed.

I never leave my car unattended and idling though. That is like placing a big "steal me" sign on my car. And the places that I frequent (home, work, shopping) are places that would be very likely to have random passersby looking to steal a car if the keys are sitting their in the ignition.

Idling in the drivethru or at a traffic signal, or a flagman is different. You can't always tell when you will advance in line. It would be a hassle to have to recrank the car and shift gears, then shift gears again and uncrank to maybe save a few cents worth of gas per minute. Besides, if somebody tried to carjack you, how could you take evasive maneuvers if your car is turned off sitting in "park"?
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:22 PM   #44
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I never leave my car unattended and idling though. That is like placing a big "steal me" sign on my car. And the places that I frequent (home, work, shopping) are places that would be very likely to have random passersby looking to steal a car if the keys are sitting their in the ignition.
Yeah it's definitely a stupid thing to do, but making a law about it is just punishing the victim. Should they also pass laws about leaving your house doors unlocked? You could call about a burglary and they'll toss you in jail right alongside the burglar. More money for the prison systems even though they just reduced the taxbase by two people.

I can't imagine a "they were asking for it" law would go over to well with those noisy women's right groups.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:33 PM   #45
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(snip)An outstanding demonstration of stupidity can be witnessed by observing someone idling their engine at the pump island while refueling. (snip)
I didn't think anyone was looney enough to leave the engine running while refueling—until I met someone doing it. I thought he had just been absent minded and pointed out that the car was running, expecting a "Thanks" and shut-down. Instead his response made it completely clear that he knew he had left the car running and that in fact he habitually left the car running while refueling.

IMO, the guy's a front runner for the Darwin Award.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:38 AM   #46
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One good answer to reduce fuel use from idling and to improve traffic flow is the use of traffic circles instead of traffic lights.
True. This was brought home to me when I was a passenger with a friend in Spain. We zipped through traffic circles with him talking with me and a finger or two on the steering wheel making small adjustments.

People who aren't familiar with traffic circles are afraid of them, however, so it can be tough sell.
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:18 PM   #47
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I used to never do this, until I started bringing DD to daycare. At the end of the day I leave the car running while I go inside to pick her up. If I didn't, it would be cold as heck in the car (been in the teens lately).

Mornings are easy, as I have a garage.
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:53 PM   #48
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I didn't think anyone was looney enough to leave the engine running while refueling—until I met someone doing it. I thought he had just been absent minded and pointed out that the car was running, expecting a "Thanks" and shut-down. Instead his response made it completely clear that he knew he had left the car running and that in fact he habitually left the car running while refueling.

IMO, the guy's a front runner for the Darwin Award.
This isn't a problem with our diesel VW, as long as you aren't next to a gas pump too. But in the old days the attendant would shut off the pump if they saw somebody doing that with gas. If you have another oportunity, you might want to narc the idjit out to the attendant.
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:13 PM   #49
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I didn't think anyone was looney enough to leave the engine running while refueling—until I met someone doing it. I thought he had just been absent minded and pointed out that the car was running, expecting a "Thanks" and shut-down. Instead his response made it completely clear that he knew he had left the car running and that in fact he habitually left the car running while refueling.

IMO, the guy's a front runner for the Darwin Award.
How about someone smoking while re-fueling?

I pulled into a gas station and noticed the guy at the next pump doing that. I politely asked that he refrain, and I got a smart aleck answer back.

I sensed that any further action would just escalate things. Heck there's another station on the way home, life's too short to argue with someone who would smoke while re-fueling, I just shook my head, got in the car and pulled off. Yes, I was tempted to go write down his plate number, or report him to the attendant, but it just seemed easier and less risky to drive away. So I did.

-ERD50
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:18 PM   #50
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I used to never do this, until I started bringing DD to daycare. At the end of the day I leave the car running while I go inside to pick her up. If I didn't, it would be cold as heck in the car (been in the teens lately).

Mornings are easy, as I have a garage.
The walk home, after the car is stolen, might be colder yet!
Thanks for the tip. Now I know where to go if I need a new car
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:49 PM   #51
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This isn't a problem with our diesel VW, as long as you aren't next to a gas pump too. But in the old days the attendant would shut off the pump if they saw somebody doing that with gas. If you have another oportunity, you might want to narc the idjit out to the attendant.
This was several years ago. I've never seen the guy again. Didn't think of telling the attendant, I just wanted to get out of there quick. I finished filling my car (I don't remember now but may already have been pumping when this guy pulled in) and left. When you come to think of it how much smarter was I to stay there on the other side of the pump island from that guy than he was to gas up with his engine going? I probably should have just hung up the pump and split.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:20 PM   #52
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I have a Jeep diesel and I let it run a good bit rather than turn it off. I often let it run when refueling as it is actually legal, it is not a spark ignition, diesel fuel does not vaporize like gas, you can vent it to the atmosphere and there is no problem. Also if you run biodiesel (I do when I can get it) you can spill it and have no more environmental event than spilling vegetable oil. And there are no measurable emissions.
Now I am facing a particular circumstance where I will be spending a week in the Black Rock desert in Nevada in September, often over 100 degrees. I did this once in my old VW camper without AC and I am just not willing to be that hot that long again. I expect to crawl into the Jeep and let the AC run for several hours a day. I checked with the experts on this vehicle and it should only take 1 gal of fuel for four hours of idling and there is no mechanical damage to the engine, it can literally idle indefinitely, probably need to change the oil after 150 hours. Not meant to hijack the thread jut to point out that diesels are different. I would not leave it unattended though.
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:05 PM   #53
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I agree that on the Prius, a traditional starter is not used but that doesn't stop the questions about stopping and starting a LARGE number of times with other engine wear. It does use synthetic low viscosity oil to get over the issue of lubrication at start-up (5/30 I think)
The Prius' motor generator spins the engine up to ~1000 rpm before the fuel injectors take over. (I wonder how high a starter motor gets a traditional internal-combustion engine? I can tell audibly that it's a lot less than 1000 RPM on our Altima.) Since most engine wear comes from the gasoline kicking it to life, I guess 1000 RPM gets the 5W-30 oil circulating enough to avoid wear from start/stop cycles.

If engine starting wear was so bad, you'd expect manufacturers to impose a fuel-injection delay to allow the starter motor to roll the engine and its oil pump before combustion. So I think we're splitting hairs.

I've been driving a stick shift for so long that on the rare occasions I get to drive our Prius, when its engine shuts down my left foot frantically tries to stomp on a clutch before I stall out.

PriusChat.com has many stories of drivers screwing up with the smart-key fob. It allows you to unlock & start the car based on the fob's proximity, so you don't even need to take the fob out of your pocket-- let alone have it in the dash when running. So inexperienced or distracted drivers will park their Prius (at which point the engine has usually shut off), get out, and walk away while the car is still powered "on". This causes a huge amount of trouble at valet parking garages...
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:02 AM   #54
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Nords--Imposing a delay in the injectors wouldn't stop the wear on the engine, unless the oil pump were designed to be electrical instead of mechanical (which might be the case, as my experience is with the older cars with a distributor/rotor). Since a mechanical oil pump is connected to the bottom of the rotor, which is connected to the spin of the pistons, it still takes a couple seconds for the oil that has drained back into the oil pan to reach the engine. The amount of oil that has drained back down during a short stop is minimal, but after sitting for a few hours there is very little oil in the engine, causing most of the wear. I doubt any manufacturer is too concerned about this wear, because they want the job security of engine replacements.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:38 AM   #55
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Nords--Imposing a delay in the injectors wouldn't stop the wear on the engine, unless the oil pump were designed to be electrical instead of mechanical (which might be the case, as my experience is with the older cars with a distributor/rotor). Since a mechanical oil pump is connected to the bottom of the rotor, which is connected to the spin of the pistons, it still takes a couple seconds for the oil that has drained back into the oil pan to reach the engine. The amount of oil that has drained back down during a short stop is minimal, but after sitting for a few hours there is very little oil in the engine, causing most of the wear. I doubt any manufacturer is too concerned about this wear, because they want the job security of engine replacements.
Although this is starting to stray a little from the original topic, I'll make the observation that the forces and loads placed on bearing and wear surfaces due to rotation by an external power source are quite a bit different from those generated by the internal combustion cycle.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:01 PM   #56
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PriusChat.com has many stories of drivers screwing up with the smart-key fob. It allows you to unlock & start the car based on the fob's proximity, so you don't even need to take the fob out of your pocket-- let alone have it in the dash when running. So inexperienced or distracted drivers will park their Prius (at which point the engine has usually shut off), get out, and walk away while the car is still powered "on". This causes a huge amount of trouble at valet parking garages...
I wondered about this. The salesman bragged about it at the time but it was an option we did not choose. It sounded a bit strange and I wondered about forgetting the key. Too often I rely on the alarm warning me that I have left the fob in the slot when I start to get out.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:52 PM   #57
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I wondered about this. The salesman bragged about it at the time but it was an option we did not choose. It sounded a bit strange and I wondered about forgetting the key. Too often I rely on the alarm warning me that I have left the fob in the slot when I start to get out.
After all the threads on the subject, I'm glad that we don't have the smart-key system fob or the backup camera. Or the Bluetooth interface.

I considered installing an engine-block heater but decided that I was being too anal-retentive obsessive compulsive nuclear about it...
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:38 AM   #58
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I considered installing an engine-block heater but decided that I was being too anal-retentive obsessive compulsive nuclear about it...
Why?
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:45 PM   #59
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Why?
The nuclear issue? A solid year of classroom & reactor plant training followed by nearly 19 years of living the lifestyle. I tend to question everything and attempt to overoptimize things to the point where Dilbert (and even my spouse) would refer to me as a f%^&in' nuke.

The engine block heater? The car uses its internal combustion engine at startup to warm up the engine & catalytic converter to optimize its fuel consumption and reduce its emissions. It tries to conserve the heat, too-- when the car is shut off, it even pumps most of its coolant into an insulated tank to keep it warm for short-stop errands. While reverse-engineering this design philosophy without Toyota's assistance, several fellow f%^&'in nukes Prius hypermiler enthusiasts have noticed that a half-hour warmup with the (electric) engine block heater persuades the car's ECU that the internal combustion engine doesn't need to be run at startup. It boosts gas mileage and saves more gas than it costs in equipment & electricity.

However it's a knuckle-buster to install and it requires forethought to use before driving. It has a bigger effect in cold climates than it does in Hawaii. And with the way our teen drives, too, we'd never notice the small improvement in fuel economy. But she's getting better...
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:44 PM   #60
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oh, I see - had no idea what you would be doing with one in HI...engine block heater used by some here to help get the engine cranking in cold weather....got down to -25 last week didn't get over 0 for more than 4 days...don't have one myself - young battery and prayer before turning key worked every time.

I'm going to look at the next generation Prius that will be coming out later this year - I think? maybe with gas low and sales slow I could get a good deal.
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