2009 Toyota Venza - Long Term Damage/Long Idle

Ok, this might be a first even for you guys. Went to dinner with another couple prior to going to a concert the other night. After dinner and the show and a little pub crawl we made it back to the car about 6 hours later. Oddly enough, the lights were on and as I got closer I realized the car was running. Somehow I had managed to get out of the car, lock it and walk away without turning it off. Wha kind of moron does that? But that’s not what I’m asking you as my wife already has ended any doubt as to who was responsible. Question - did I do any long or short term damage to the car? The temp gauge was normal tho the car did smell hot. I bought this car new and intend to drive it till “the wheels fall off”. It just turned 100K miles, drives like new and I’ve done a good job of routine and preventative maintenance.

No harm done. Don’t you see police vehicles idling for long periods of time and so do Taxi cabs .


As long as the dashboard temperature gauge read “normal”, no worries. This situation could damage the engine however if something like the engine coolant fan ever failed, so best avoided.

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The life of the engine has been shortened by 6 hours. It is very likely that someone else will be driving this vehicle when the end of its life is closing in.


Long ago I read in an Owner’s Manual for a full size van a warning that extended idling could overheat the exhaust system.
This was from the early era of catalytic converters.
I know, not relevant to the Venza, just a reminiscence.

As others have said, if nothing malfunctioned to cause the car to overheat or lose its oil, there’s no harm done.

If you park in an attached garage, I do hope that you have carbon monoxide detectors installed in your house, just in case you ever do this again at home.

By the way, this isn’t a first. We’ve heard this here before, so don’t feel bad.

Many years ago, a work colleague reported that his wife had accidentally left their Chevy II idling overnight, and other than using up a lot of gas, there was no real consequence of her oversight. They continued to drive that car for several more years.

Tom told a story about inadvertently leaving one of his cars running while it was parked at Ray’s shop. He was pleased that it ran all day and nobody noticed; said it proved how quiet the engine was … :wink: