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Old 03-08-2007, 07:56 PM   #1
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Sprinters: to idle or not to idle?

Hi all - I'm new to the diesel world and just bought myself a spankin' new Westy. I'm pretty happy about it and looking forward to beginning the new adventures.

One thing I've run across in various posts is whether or not it's safe to idle the Sprinter. One fellow asked this in regards to running the AC, and others have mentioned it as part of various business needs (eg. ambulances, etc.). I heard all kinds of answers from 'do it' to 'you better not, or else...', and now I'm confused.

So I put it to you all, in a very simple form. Is it or is it not going to hurt my new baby if I am sitting in some midday heatwave and have my Westy and AC running in order to keep things at a tolerable temp?

Thanks!
Brian
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:00 PM   #2
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Hi Brian,
Welcome to the forums. I don't know about the Sprinter in particular but I do know on the newer Ford engines they don't recommend long idling times, it can wreak havoc with the pollution control systems. As a general rule I don't like to idle anything for very long...waste of fuel and contributes to overall pollution.

Aaron
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:35 PM   #3
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I own an Interstate (Sprinter), and have more than 22000 miles on it now. My opinion is that it won't hurt a thing to idle the Mercedes engine. It has an auxiliary cooling fan that kicks on if the water temperature gets over 185 degrees F. There was a thread on this topic not long ago that is worth reading.
Lewster will weigh in on this, he has a Sprinter and has more miles than I do.
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Old 03-08-2007, 09:27 PM   #4
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You Rang????

No wonder my ears were burning .

Anyway, I'm about to turn 70K on my Sprinter and I've idled mine with the air conditioner on for up to 2 hours at a time.....NO PROBLEMS. I have never been told not to do it and the manual does not expressly prohibit it either.

GO FOR IT!!!!
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:05 PM   #5
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Brian:

I don't suppose you have the HIGH IDLE FUNCTION, do you? If so, no worry for sure.

I have this on my '06 3500 Cab and Chassis.

In any case, don't worry too much about this. How often are you liable to idle for a long time? Not too often, I would guess.

Here's the story of my SPRINTER, which will pull a remodeled 1976 ARGOSY, if you are intrerested



http://www.airforums.com/forum...ase-18448.html

Sergei
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:27 PM   #6
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While not a motorhome....

I have a 140" WB, the same as a Westy, cargo van for work. I have been told by the dealer if you idle one much the egr valve will prematurely fail. This is one of the emissions control devices.

If you read the manual closely it does mention do not allow engine to idle for prolonged periods of time. There was some discussion on the Yahoo sprinter group a while back about this and the consensus was not to idle.
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:44 PM   #7
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thanks for the reponses...

thanks for the knowledge and experience all...looks like i'll idle when needed without fear. like you mentioned smokelessjoe, i won't likely be doing this frequently nor for very long so won't get too uptight about it...

b-
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:30 PM   #8
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I was just doing some research on common rail diesels like the one in Jeep Liberty. It has an hltra high pressure fuel system and long idle isn't a problem with these engines but they still replace alot of egr valves

Terry
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:40 PM   #9
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Terry,

When I first bought my Sprinter in '04, the dealer told me that they were experiencing a run of bad EGR valves and to expect that mine would eventually be replaced under warranty.

Well, after 75,000 miles, still on the same original EGR, and that's with idling with the A/C on for up to 2 hours at a stretch. BTW, no 'high idle' function like Sergei has.

My 'next' Sprinter (probably an '08) WILL have that function, along with a host of other new goodies that they offer.......the options book is 1/2" thick!!!!!
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Old 06-03-2007, 12:08 AM   #10
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As an ex over the road truck driver,we idle when sleeping,doing paper work,etc and have to idle to have a/c or heat.However big truck mech's say to run at fast idle (+- 1000 rpm) in order to keep oil at proper temp.Ever saw a semi leave an area with white smoke coming out of the stacks apx. 30 secs,then clear up?They say it's caused by idling at slow speed from build up of unburned fuel/oil in the exhaust.It's also illlegal to idle a diesel now days in many states and/or cities.A lot of o.t.r. trucks have gensets installed because of high dollar fines....Brian
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Old 06-03-2007, 07:29 AM   #11
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Hi Brian,

I know what you mean about the OTR gang. In fact, I just saw a new product that is being marketed for the big rigs and is a partnership between Dometic and PowerTech. It combines a PT diesel generator with a Dometic climate control system and gives you heat/air conditioning, and internal power, both 12VDC and 120VAC in the cab. Very slick unit in a relatively small package.
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Old 06-03-2007, 10:47 AM   #12
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The current "No Idle Thing" is more a politicaly correct idea than a mechanical one. As mention above truckers have for years idled all night long on cold winter nights. In northern areas it is common to fill up the tank and let equipement run all nigth. In many cases so they can find the equipment under the snow by the exhaust in the am. For years the generaly accepted thought was you did more damage to a diesel engine starting it than letting it idle.

Now on a more up to date note. Almost all newer cars and trucks record idle time as a function of run time and base warranty coverage on this record. Also as noted many states have a 3 min. law on diesel idleing.

If you are new to a diesel there are a few thing you should comment to memory. Never run out of fuel, as most diesels are quite hard to restart if not equiped with a priming system. The 1 or 2 mins of cranking the engine to bring fuel up will often kill a diesel starter. Always change the oil as perscribed. If you engine has an exhaust temperaure guage learn how to use it and if not consider getting one. If you have a turbo do not shut the engine off right after a hard climb, IDLE DOWN, to cool the turbo bearings. Heat is the enemy.
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:14 AM   #13
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As the cost of fuel rises, I expect that the long nights of idling a "big truck" will dwindle. As an aside, in Europe, the trucks at the rest stops shut down their engines and restart them when ready to roll. Don't know if this due to fuel costs, anti-noise laws, custom, or what. But, I do know it sure is easy to sleep at a truck stop without all those engines running.
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