Should You Leave Your Car's Engine Idling? Myth Busted

  • Published: 17 April 2018
  • Car engine idle. Should you leave your car's engine idling for a long time, myth busted with Scotty Kilmer. Does idling your car for a long time damage or hurt your engine? There are many myths about letting your engine idle, and I'll tell you the truth about the matter. DIY car repair with Scotty Kilmer, an auto mechanic for the last 50 years.

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Comments • 2 344

  • Scotty Kilmer
    Scotty Kilmer   2 years back

    ⬇️Scotty’s Top DIY Tools:
    1. Bluetooth Scan Tool:
    2. Cheap Scan Tool:
    3. Professional Socket Set:
    4. Wrench Set:
    5. No Charging Required Car Jump Starter:
    6. Battery Pack Car Jump Starter:

    🛠Check out my Garage to see what I use every day and highly recommend:

    ► Subscribe and hit the notification bell for all new videos:

    Scotty on Social:
    Facebook ►
    Instagram ►
    Twitter ►

    • lilmacc 19
      lilmacc 19  3 months back

      O7 dodge magnum sxt 3.5, short version: ended up between homes for 2 weeks, had to park at random lots, idling with AC running for majority of the day (PHX,AZ summer) Kept tank filled. When I moved in to new apt my battery light went on, checked Alternator (good), bought new and replaced Battery (old one was no good) battery light still on, Any suggestions?? Thanks Scotty, love your channel.

    • Frankie Beans80
      Frankie Beans80  4 months back

      Scotty Kilmer I have no idea if you’ll see this , but can you do a video of the cars now that turned the engine off when stoped. I’m sure it’s bad for the car and starter.

    • Indigo Voyager
      Indigo Voyager  7 months back

      A couple of points here. Yes old cars burned gas like no tomorrow when idling. New cars are so precisely computer controlled I once idled a 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander overnight since we were camping and it got too cold and we needed some heat so I ran it to stay warm & keep some electricity going. Over the entire 8 hour period I used less $1 of fuel running for 8 hours. Had I been driving the car I would've already filled up the tank. Yes the hood trick does work especially if you are on the highway and you are pulling a trailer pop the hood and the safety latch will still hold it in place (that is if your latch isn't busted, make sure it is working correctly or you might have a hood on your windshield) and that extra inch gap can make the difference between overheating or not when pulling a load.

    • Terrence Morrison
      Terrence Morrison  9 months back

      I have a hybrid. Am I killing my hybrid battery by idling?

    • Gamer Boom
      Gamer Boom  9 months back

      Yes, my family new car have a safety Auto stop while at the traffic too. Useful stuff save oil and my new family car have a”Eco” function double it save more fuels save $.

  • Erick A Secas
    Erick A Secas  2 days back

    Scotty's Voice sounds like video is playing Slow Pitched! Like if you Noticed!

    • 247addiction
      247addiction  4 weeks back

      I like your energy Scotty! And those glasses 😎 so cool! Subscribed!

      • Vinnie Cocco
        Vinnie Cocco  4 weeks back

        The second I start my car I rev it up almost to redline to warm the motor faster and save gas.

        • willysnowman
          willysnowman  1 months back

          Is drive 1st gear for retards?

          • John Sikes
            John Sikes  1 months back

            Some of your stuff is great Scotty, but I don't really care what "other guys", or you, have to say about this particular subject. In my TL manual, it says don't do it. Good enough for me. I suspect (actually know) that the manufacturer's engineering and test departments know a LOT more about ALL aspects of their vehicle than all the know it all's out there, including you and me, put together. There are probably aspects of doing this that someone, other than the designer, is even going to consider, unless it "sneaks out" from "the horses mouth", so to speak.

            Some of the cautions against doing this might be litigation driven, granted, like maybe catching long grass on fire if done in a field, but I'll stick to the manufacturers recommendation, as a design engineer myself (not cars in my case, though), as I know many of the considerations and trades made in a design never leave the designers head, EXCEPT when they forget making the decision later. They don't even get addressed in design reviews, where other people who really KNOW the questions to ask, never think to ask about them.

            Just some thoughts from the "other side of the aisle", and no, you would have never caught me just ignoring what a tech told me, especially if it was something well thought out that directly addressed their legitimate concerns (which it mostly was), so I'm not one of "THOSE".

            • Moto 99
              Moto 99  1 months back

              Thanks Scotty this helped me out

              • CanAmRydr
                CanAmRydr  2 months back

                But now you just made a video telling everyone it's bad to idle

                • Dan Antrich
                  Dan Antrich  2 months back

                  Scottie I pop my transmission into neutral when in traffic and making stops so that the load of the transmission is not pulling on my brakes so the weight of the car is all that I am stopping when I push the brake pedal. It is the closest I can get to a manual transmission.

                  • K w
                    K w  2 months back

                    "poor people are crazy, jack, im eccentric" 😂😂😂 anyone else see the resemblance

                    • Dominic Fong
                      Dominic Fong  2 months back

                      I believe engine oil gets contaminated faster from combustion byproducts during idling because it usually runs a little rich and burns incompletely because there is no load.

                      • Stories by J.A.R
                        Stories by J.A.R  2 months back

                        I let my car idle for 10 hours. Tank was almost empty. Never did it again.

                        • adjit2
                          adjit2  2 months back

                          So what about your new video buddy?

                          • Shaun Brown
                            Shaun Brown  2 months back

                            My company uses Dodge ram pick ups we let them idle all day to run our inverters to charge batteries. After six months of that we have to send it in to have the engine rebuilt because the camshaft or war out. Chrysler products are garbage

                            • mike mun
                              mike mun  2 months back

                              A Scott how do you turn on a car wait till the beep stop

                              • samuraijaydee
                                samuraijaydee  2 months back

                                Thanks Scotty!

                                • LiquidShadow08
                                  LiquidShadow08  2 months back

                                  He sounds different on this video. I know I’m not the only one that hears that...

                                  • Reel Heel
                                    Reel Heel  2 months back

                                    My car will shift itself into neutral if it idles in drive for a few minutes. It shifts back into drive when I take my foot off the brake.

                                    • Rudá Bittencourt
                                      Rudá Bittencourt  2 months back

                                      On CVT transmissions. Is need turn to N or P when running engine with car no running???

                                      • Jason Williams
                                        Jason Williams  2 months back

                                        Why leave it running if you don’t have to. Here is a fact, auto trans in park or neutral will allow the friction modules to spin, in drive the friction is in the torque converter. Either way not good

                                        • Brandon Trone
                                          Brandon Trone  2 months back

                                          I feel like I just switched to a random channel on the dimensional tv from Rick and morty

                                          • kyndryd spyryt
                                            kyndryd spyryt  2 months back

                                            In Park??? What if you get hit by traffic not stopping quick enough?

                                            • James Nicholson
                                              James Nicholson  2 months back

                                              Scott you are Brilliant! Mate.

                                              • mark adler
                                                mark adler  2 months back

                                                Scotty I take great care of my 2016 crv ex. I am having issues with battery dying very quickly and when I stop at light the car shakes. I had battery tested it was fine. Honda said there no problem with crv. Help

                                                • Adam H
                                                  Adam H  2 months back

                                                  Besides wasting gas, and polluting, you also are not warming up all components of your vehicle properly. "Warming up" your car is best done by driving it. Police cars have heavy duty components because of how often they idle, as well as why they often have Idle hour timers. Driving your vehicle is better than idling your vehicle.

                                                  • BillytheCrayon
                                                    BillytheCrayon  2 months back

                                                    Follow up question. As far as the wasting gas argument goes. Doesn't starting the car take a lot of fuel??? Just wondering if you're really saving anything by shutting the car off, if it's just gonna be parked for a few minutes (like at a traffic light, or just going in to grab your coffee)

                                                    • Super E 420
                                                      Super E 420  2 months back

                                                      Love it

                                                      • Don Emerson
                                                        Don Emerson  2 months back


                                                        • Don Emerson
                                                          Don Emerson  2 months back


                                                          • Lora F
                                                            Lora F  2 months back

                                                            I always heard it was bad for the environment

                                                            • blerk h
                                                              blerk h  2 months back

                                                              NO because if your thermostat fails, you come back to an overheated, and possibly blown engine

                                                              • Morsificator
                                                                Morsificator  2 months back

                                                                Hey, that AC button is from my Hyundai i30! 🤔🤔🤔

                                                                • Dylan Harris
                                                                  Dylan Harris  2 months back

                                                                  Good points! What about as far the lubrication inside the engine? I have heard at idle that oil pressure is low and the top of the engine may not be receiving adequate lube. What do yalll think?

                                                                  • Human Android
                                                                    Human Android  2 months back

                                                                    If you are unsure, try to look inside of the oil filler and inspect the oil flow. But it depends on the make and model. Usually the pump got enough power. If not, it may be worn and you can choose a higher oil viscosity to raise the pressure.

                                                                • Wolvesh Gt
                                                                  Wolvesh Gt  2 months back

                                                                  had 2012 mazda 3 for field security job in Toronto, in winter time usually idle for 12 hrs, that car had no program until 120000km when trade in.

                                                                  • Proconesus
                                                                    Proconesus  2 months back

                                                                    Another historic info from scotty about this tricky subject Nobody knows anything thanks

                                                                    • Afgmclaren
                                                                      Afgmclaren  2 months back

                                                                      Don’t ever leave your hood open when idling. You could possibly forget it’s open and drive away. you will end up needing a new hood, new windshield, new roof and will be paying for damages of the car behind you. Ding dong

                                                                      • dwainedibbly
                                                                        dwainedibbly  2 months back

                                                                        Great video but you forgot a very important point. All the pollution you are emitting without moving an inch in idling.

                                                                        • dwainedibbly
                                                                          dwainedibbly  2 months back

                                                                          Jim M (insert slow clapping emoticon)

                                                                        • Jim M
                                                                          Jim M  2 months back

                                                                          Good thing you showed up, no one would have had a clue without your comment.

                                                                      • raikoh05
                                                                        raikoh05  2 months back

                                                                        Thought about buying a police interceptor Dodge charger, but they spend their whole life idling.

                                                                        • Noah Dunn
                                                                          Noah Dunn  2 months back

                                                                          What can cause your car to shoot fire balls out the tail pipe at hi rpms?

                                                                          • Roy Borgersen
                                                                            Roy Borgersen  2 months back

                                                                            How about cars with a turbo? Should one wait to start driving and to stop the engine after driving, to secure the oil flow to the turbo, as was recommended in older cars?

                                                                            • lamoona 42
                                                                              lamoona 42  2 months back

                                                                              Yea but 30 seconds before and after is well enough time for that matter

                                                                            • Human Android
                                                                              Human Android  2 months back

                                                                              You should still do that, yes.

                                                                          • Thomas
                                                                            Thomas  2 months back

                                                                            I think I've seen engines with top end damage as a rest of excessive idling. The oil pump (which is governed by engine rpm) just doesn't create enough pressure to lubricate the top end. Actually I think they tune the idle speed up in RX8s for the same reason.

                                                                            • Jim M
                                                                              Jim M  2 months back

                                                                              The RX8 is likely a rotary engine and not a good example of a car you would want extended periods of idling.

                                                                          • Andras Libal
                                                                            Andras Libal  2 months back

                                                                            Auto start/stop is from the devil.
                                                                            I have an old diesel with manual transmission I put it in neutral and release the clutch if I am waiting for a stoplight ...
                                                                            I would never trade it for one of these new cars that need to restart their engine just to get off the line.

                                                                            • Carl stinger gt
                                                                              Carl stinger gt  2 months back

                                                                              Scotty not a good idea telling people to put their car in neutral while idling for a while. People not paying attention could let their car roll. You tend to reduce the pressure on your brake after a while from fatigue. Just put it in park to be safe.

                                                                              • loading..
                                                                                loading..  2 months back

                                                                                Someone here will leave the hood open and drive off and get smacked!!

                                                                                • deen gil
                                                                                  deen gil  2 months back

                                                                                  Just put a giant hood scoop problem solved

                                                                                  • Michael Garcia
                                                                                    Michael Garcia  2 months back

                                                                                    Worn-out camshafts are commonplace with former police cars like the charger and the caprice, due to how long the engine sits idling. Low idle RPM seem to be the culprit

                                                                                    • Gord235
                                                                                      Gord235  2 months back

                                                                                      Scotty knows best.

                                                                                      • Robert Gardner
                                                                                        Robert Gardner  2 months back

                                                                                        I live in Tucson, AZ and we don't let my friend 67 barracuda sit and idle lol, in the summer gets too hot, it rained today though which is a nice change.