Idle vs. Shut-off - Dumb newbie Q - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:25 PM
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Idle vs. Shut-off - Dumb newbie Q

Loving the ride. This is one amazing truck. I had it in the snow for the first time over the weekend, and the thing is phenomenal. I suppose the weight, good tires and LSD in the rear diff help, but I was really pleased. My old F-150 was TERRIBLE in snow, even in 4WD.

On to my question - as a new diesel owner, I notice that many diesel truck folks DO NOT shut their rigs off when they stop for short periods. This seems to be the case, even at a fuel stop.

Is this a wear and tear thing? Is starting a warm engine worse than running it at idle for 10 minutes? The code-pad on the door makes leaving it at idle nice and easy, but I wonder, what is the best thing here? How do I decide to shut-off versus leaving it at idle?

Can someone tell me why? Thanks!
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:37 PM
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I have a 08 6.4, I am interested too.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:39 PM
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I leave mine run if im just running in to get something, or filling it up with fuel, etc.

It saves the starter, also doesnt allow big temp changes which are hard on turbo bearings and what not.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:41 PM
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i let mine idle also but no more than 5 mins after that i have a high idle mod on a timer that kicks in over 5 mins
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:52 PM
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The main purpose it save the turbo after you run it hard so it has time to let the bearings and oil cool down before shut off, also to keep it running instead of starting it and shutting it off multiple times on short trips like around town to gas stations, post office things like that etc... Its better on the motor because it keeps all the bearings under oil pressure and the whole system just keeping itself at operating temps rather than up and down and up and down and wear and tear on starter flywheel etc...
I run a turbo timer, I can hit the button for a period of 1-5 minutes and then I can hold it down for like 5 seconds till it flashes and stays lit and I can run it at idle or high idle for 55 minutes without the key in the ignition. Also without the key in it if you step on the brake to try to put it in gear it shuts the truck off so you cant steal it. Its nice, It really helps with keeping warm when its cold outside and not worrying about it getting takin with the keys in it. You dont want to let it run for a really long time unless you have atleast some sort of high idle to around 1000 rpms. If you idle it for a really long time at 5-700 rpms you can wet stack it.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:53 PM
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On the 6.0L engine, extended idling (more than 2-3 minutes IMO) is a quick way to clog up an EGR valve, possibly coke a turbo, and lead to wet stacking. You need the "high idle mod" to idle more than a few minutes.

Wet Stacking is basically un-burned fuel and partially burned fuel that builds up on the exhaust valves, turbo and exhaust system. It can cause the exhaust valves to stick open (due to sludge build up on the valve stem) leading to a bent valve. It can cause problems with the VGT vanes sticking. Unlike a gas engine, our diesel engine gets cooler when it idles at low rpm, and when the EGT temps fall below 275F wet stacking occurs. At temperatures down to freezing running at 1200 RPM generally causes EGT to be above 275F and wet stacking is prevented. In extremely cold conditions the idle speed will need to be higher.

Also, unburnt fuel "washes down" the cylinder walls, removing lube oil and bringing the potential to incur fairly significant damage to the cylinder walls as time goes by.
In a V-configuration engine (the PSD, in this case) piston isn't moving vertically, so it can't support the fuel. Gravity will pull it to the lower cylinder wall, and there's where the problem starts.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:56 PM
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Note on the newer trucks with the DPF systems I have heard that it is bad to let run at idle for long periods AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The exhaust doesnt get to a hot enough temp so that the DPF system doesnt burn the fuel and it clogs it faster running it at idle for long periods faster than just shutting it off. The dodge dealer told my pops to drive his 6.7 cummins like a gas motor so to speak with the DPF connected still.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:29 PM
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I do not have the high idle mod, so i turn mine off. It helps to save fuel too
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:40 PM
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is this (wet stacking) a thing that WILL happen to a 6.0 if left idling or a thing that CAN happen. And also what are the symptoms of this? the reason i ask is because my 2006 often sees 4 to 6 hours of idling a day sometimes higher 20 hrs and none of this has happend, and it has 156k miles
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:55 PM
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Its not something you will see until you pull the heads off your motor and see the wear and tear in the far positions of the cylinder walls. If you Idle for that long of a time, is your truck running things off of it? Or Pto operations? Then it should already have a High Idle feature, if not then I would recommend one lol It will help in the long run, Not needed tho. I just run her a little bit after sittin for longer periods to get anything out of the cylinders lol

Last edited by Grease Monkey; 11-23-2009 at 10:01 PM.
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