Delivering Pizzas

I deliver pizzas for a second job and I’m wondering if it would be better in general for the car to keep it running for each delivery (it takes about 4-5 minutes) or shut it off. What about during the summer and winter?

Shut it off.

No matter how you cut it, that is going to be hard on your car. I think I would leave it running, but I really can’t say for sure.

Shut it off, unless chasing after the local juvenile delinquent who took your car for a joy ride is your idea of fun.

“I deliver pizzas for a second job and I’m wondering if it would be better in general for the car to keep it running for each delivery (it takes about 4-5 minutes) or shut it off.”

I’d say that it be would far easier with it running for the entire 4-5 minutes, but once I got there, I’d shut it off for the reasons mentioned above, including, but not limited to, “but I really can’t say for sure.

Why not shut her off when you get back, too, eh ?


A friend of mine was warming his car up to take his wife to the hospital, pregnancy related. Someone stole the car. Unless you can lock it while on delivery remember they would probably steal a pizza car if the opportunity presents itself.

Depending on your financial situation, you might consider buying a hybrid vehicle, that way you won’t have to worry bout it.
Talk to a tax agent and see if you could write of the expense of the car on your taxes for a business expense(i.e. you buy the hybrid solely for delivering pizzas)

I was a pizza man in college, so I have some experience in this field:

I always left mine running and never had any problems. But one night I got yelled at by a cop because I ran in a convenience store with it running to get a 2-liter and apparently that’s illegal. Oops. There were also circumstances that permitted shutting it down, such as any delivery which involved turning my back on the car, other than at the customer’s front door. Those were exceptions, though. I think for a typical residential delivery it’s a pretty safe bet to leave it running for the quick transaction.

Overall I prefered to leave it running because it saved hundreds of cycles on the starter and if I understand correctly a hot engine shut-down is hard on the oil.

The main advantage of shutting down at every door is that you preclude the possibility of getting your ride jacked, but risk is part of the cost of doing business.

BTW: Back when I was in the industry I posted a question similar to this on here and the overall concensus was to leave it running. One helpful suggestion was to bring a second key on a lanyard, and use that to unlock/lock the door while leaving the engine running.

I hope that helped.

No, starting cold with cold oil, and possible drain out is hardest on the motor, not hot starting it.

I think the Brothers addressed this once, and if the car will be stopped one minute, it is better to shut it off.

It is true in some places it is illegal to leave a car running while not directly attended.

Shut it off! That is part of the hassle of jobs like delivering pizza.

Think about this: More and more non-hybrid conventional cars now come with a “start/stop system” that automatically turns the car off when you come to a stop and turns it on once you release the brake. They wouldn’t do this if it was hard on the car. It used to be (with carburetors) that it took more gas to start a car than to keep it running but not anymore. Ideally, even when you stop for 15 seconds at a traffic light you’d turn the car off (if it wasn’t such as hassle --> hence the automatic feature). So turning it off even for a 1 minute delivery is a no-brainer. It’s not like the car is going to cool down a lot and being exposed to a lot of cold start wear and tear.

That Must Be Exciting Living A Community Where Your Car Can Be Stolen If It’s Left Running For A Few Minutes.


It is no worse and probably better than most. Like they say if it ain’t bolted down…

I would shut it off. With electronic fuel injection and the price of fuel going up, the only thing it might hurt is the starter, but I wouldn’t worry about that. I would be more worried about it getting stolen and my overall fuel costs.

I’ve noticed that the Fed-X and UPS delivery people shut off the trucks when delivering a parcel. I’m almost certain that a couple of years ago they let them run. I also remember back in the 1950’s when we had home milk delivery, the milk carrier left the engine running.

In a UPS situation it is much more economical to shut down the engine. Trucks that make 50+ deliveries in a day burn considerably less gasoline doing so while starter replacement costs were never an issue. I owned several Ford and Chevrolet 1/2 and 3/4 ton vans and serviced them and dozens more for a few years. And, avoiding theft was never an issue.

CSA, you need to remember, this forum isn’t just for the Country Club sect. We “little people,” whose ancestors came to cities for jobs frequent this forum too. We can’t all live in a palatial paradise of untamed wilderness and crystal clear lakes.

I haven’t heard of any cars that have start/stop function on them currently. Ford will be bringing out a few models with it for the 2012 model year I believe though.