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Leaving engine running while filling up with gas

Hey everyone!
I recently went on a date with a man who loves his car, a Mazda RX8. Because of the love of his car, he doesn’t like to turn off the engine for short stops. That means if we go to a fast food place for takeout, he’ll leave the car running while we order and wait for the food to be prepared. To my horror, I realized that he also left the car running while filling up his gas tank - while I was still in the car! I didn’t want to ruffle feathers on the first date, so I thought I would ask here first: is it really “that dangerous” to fill up while the car is running? And if so, how can I bring it up without hurting his ego and diminishing my chances of another date? I appreciate your help!

  1. It’s illegal
  2. It’s stupid.

Make sure he refrequently checks the car’s oil level. RX8’s burn as much oil as gas.

PS: consider your first date to be your last date with him.

Yes, it is a REALLY bad idea. And if he ever leaves the car running and unattended, that’s an open invitation to theft. Finally, both might be against the law.

He’s doing little good with this, anyway. Cars are built to start and stop with no real added wear.

As for theft, he takes the key with him. It’s one of those cars with the keyless push-to-start options.

But I think it still may be illegal to leave the car while it’s running, even if he has the key. And somebody might still try and steal it, have it die when it gets out of range, potentially cause an accident. A lose/lose/lose situation.

In addition to all of the other valid bits of advice, I want to add that this guy is courting problems with his evaporative emissions system. This system is designed to work with an intact, fully closed gas cap, and not a fuel system that is open to the air while the engine is running.

Even if it has not happened yet, I predict that over an extended period of time, this…nonsensical…practice will result in the CEL lighting up, and when the codes are pulled, he will find out that his evaporative emissions system needs work.

Thank you!

So, how do you recommend me actually bringing this up to him without seeming like a dumb girl who doesn’t know much about cars?

By the way, the illegal part would work if he actually cared about what he deems as silly laws. He has illegal tints and gets pulled over for speeding on a fairly regular basis.

Print out these posts so you can state that it’s not just your opinion.
You could pressure the issue by just reaching over and turning off the car, that would surely cause an immediate and heated discussion.

“He has illegal tints and gets pulled over for speeding on a fairly regular basis.”

Well, this situation may resolve itself for you fairly soon, as he is more than likely going to lose his license–and based on his habit of scoffing at motor vehicle regulations–you will have to decide if you want to continue a relationship with somebody of that ilk.

This would give you an easy “out”, as you can then tell him that you need a boyfriend with a car, not one who has to take the bus. In reality, you should want somebody with an adult-level of responsibility, rather than somebody who is still in an adolescent stage of mental development. However, you might want to blame his “wheel-less” state as the reason for breaking-off with him.

This is starting to sounds like a question from somebody (you) wanting to buy a used car that has all kinds of problems (him)…I typically advise those folks to look elsewhere…

Texases, no. I’m actually worried about his well-being. Also, I would much rather not have a car with a rotary engine.

Thank you everyone for your advice.

Sorry, I wasn’t clear. He’s the ‘used car’ in my comment. You’re right to be concerned about his (and your) well being.

On a personal level , this issue will tell you a lot about his deeper personality. Something you’ll need to move forward IF there’s to be a relationship.
Is he open to discussions of differing opinions ? or is he a ‘‘my way or no way’’ guy ?
Might he adjust his actions just for you even if he continues when he’s alone ? would he change his ways because of your good advice ?

This goes much deeper that just at fill up time. Same as …how does he treat the other women in his life ?
His mom, sister, cousin, grandma and co-workers .

When I was single I used to say “don’t worry be happy, somewhere else”. That didn’t last forever.

There are some personality quirks that make you worry about people. Don’t worry, most of the damage is already done. There’s just the disaster that’s hovering nearby that has not happened yet.

@civilians1989 Adding to other comments, this is RISKY, ILLEGAL, EXPENSIVE, DYSFUNCTIONAL, ENVIROINMENTALLY BAD!. Our city also has an unnecessary idling bylaw.

If you can’t get him out of this habit, you’re better off with somebody more mainstream. I do have to admit that in the 50s my dad would leave the engine running and also keep his cigarette lit while gassing up. That was a different generation; he also wanted to cut the seatbelts out of his new 1968 car.

A friend has a RX8 and they used to flood and not start if run for a short time. He moved his in the driveway then the next day it took him hours to get started. I think their was a TSB to update the computer software to fix this.

Besides him being stupid for not turning the car off while filling up, he’s also stupid for taking you for fast food on an early date. Guys seriously do that?

@cilevans1989–I think you had another post concerning your choice of a Mazda for your new car. You seem to have good sense. This fellow you went out with lacks that. I know that opposites attract, but this person is too far gone. You stated that you will be going to graduate school. Ten percent of your fellow graduate students will be sane–the remaining 90% are insane. However, those odds are better than you are doing right now–friends who told you that you bought the wrong car and a date who has the death wish filling up the gas tank with the engine running.
Best wishes for graduate school!

As him to fill up the car before he picks you up. It would be nice to have an alternate plan in mind if he has an accident while refueling. Generally, poor judgement like this may indicate he might be poor husband material. He has to be a real good dancer and fun to be with to offset his seemingly lack of respect for authority. If not, it’s pretty telling. You don’t want to be embarrassed when pulled over or worse yet, be part of an accident.