Long idle times - is this harmful?


Old 07-12-03, 12:30 PM
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Long idle times - is this harmful?

I have a generic question that I'm hoping someone can answer.

Quite often during lunch, I'll sit in my car and read. I live in Texas and as you can imagine with 100+ temps I leave the car running (in Park) with the air conditioner on full blast.

I've heard however, that this can harmful to the car. If true, what are some of the ramifications of this? i.e., What problems with the car might I encounter if I let it sit in idle for an 45 minutes or so?

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Old 07-12-03, 01:21 PM
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If you read your owners manual you'll notice that doing that type of thing with your car is called severe service. Not great for the engine, cooling system, charging system, air conditioning system and such. It's probably cheaper eating lunch out in an air conditioned place.
Old 07-12-03, 02:05 PM
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It probably won't harm much with the proper maintenance, but I agree. You're also wasting fuel.

Bring your lunch to a shady spot and enjoy it under a tree. I eat lunch at my desk in my office

(And in turn answer many posts here during that time)
Old 07-12-03, 04:39 PM
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The 1 thing that comes to my mind on this is exhaust fumes..Most newer cars are pretty well insulated, but to sit in it running like that *could* be dangerous to you...?
Old 07-13-03, 06:45 AM
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My two cents

I would not do it besides a fuel waste think of the underhood temps that build up. With the car moving the underhood temps are blown away by air movment.I bet that temps can get well over 300 under the hood and I don't think that the electronic parts like that very much.
Joe not to bag on you but I think it is funny that you say eat your lunch under a tree but here in TX even under a tree the heat and humidity is unbelievable 90 in the shade is not uncommon. It is possible to eat under a tree 2 days a year here in TX in the summer at best.LOL
Old 07-13-03, 06:53 AM
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Lol. True.

We get WICKED summers here in NYC, they are hot and humid most times. During that time I just try to stay near the water or A/C .

I use the comfort of the office to relax, stay cool and have a place to eat .
Old 07-13-03, 07:28 AM
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Thanks for everyone's replies. I guess my question was not so much where I should eat lunch, but what repurcussions there are on a car sitting in idle for long periods of times.

FWIW, Michael's right. We just don't eat lunch outside here in Texas . . maybe in once in a while in January. :-)

I sit behind a desk sometimes 10 hours per day (I'm a software systems analyst), so I get out when I can. :-)

Anyway thanks again for your replies. This is a great forum.
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