Leaving Garage Door Shut With the Car Running

I figure this is a no brainer but my brainy son-in-law won’t take my word for it. The couple just moved to Fairbanks, Alaska, it’s now very cold, very very cold. The garage is heated. My daughter opens the garage door when she starts the car. Her hubby says it’s ok to keep it shut for a few minutes. I say no no. First off, the stuff from the exhaust will get all over the garage door and, more importantly, it just doesn’t seem safe, even for a few minutes. I suggested a compromise, raise the door above the exhaust pipe. The love of my daughter’s life needs something more concrete. Need some help here. Thank you

Carbon monoxide is never our friend and we should not be sharing space with it. My compromise would be to move the car out and idle it as much as you want in the driveway.

What’s the problem? Open the door, start the car, drive the car out, and close the door. There is no significant difference in heat loss.



And, yes I’m yelling, ( with my index finger pounding on his forehead ). It’s that important.

If idling your car in the garage is going to be a daily event, get the garage exhaust hose that is made for just such occasions and build it into the wall of the garage so that all fumes are expelled from the room. Auto repair shops use these and could guide you to a source.

( I googled ‘automotive garage exhuast hose’ and see lots of good souces.)

Listen to Mr. Green. This is a disaster waiting to happen. A few minutes of distraction = BAD. Car’s in a heated garage, so what possible reason is there to do this, anyway?

I’m sorry, but there is no diplomatic way for me to say this other than to say that…your son-in-law has rocks in his head.

As others have said, this is a very dangerous practice.

Order a plug in or battery CO detector and ship to them and have them plug it in. This will give the real answer. EVERY home should have one.

The son in law has a head like a house cat(LOL). Common sense says not to do this. Any small distraction could lead to a death. The garage is heated, there is no need to idle. If the sil still needs to do this get rubber exhaust hose that has the proper tailpipe adapter and a door port (Crushproof makes these amoung other brands). That way when the car is idling with the door down and a distraction comes along there may only be brain damage instead of death, yes I am being sardonic.

This is worse than a no-brainer. Can we say DEAD DEAD DEAD. CO is as bad as it gets. You may think you’re smelling it and can tell if it’s too much. WRONG. You’re smelling burnt gasoline and a little oil. You will NOT smell CO. You will drop like a rock. You risk death. Even if someone drags you out to fresh air, you will not recover for weeks and will be in serious shape in a hospital. Once in the body, CO is very hard to get out and can still kill you. Don’t argue with this idiot. Lay down the law - period. Good Lord Almighty.

Just to add, in case it is not clear yet. It is not even safe to run the car in the garage with the door all the way open. Depending on the weather and construction of the house, the CO may still be trapped in the garage.

Why don’t you get them a block heater and some CO alarms as an early Christmas present. (The CO alarms with a number read out are best for this.)

Idle the car outside. Period. Each time you breathe CO it kills some blood cells. Breathe enough and it kills brain cells to boot. Breathe too much… good night Irene, FOREVER.

At one GM Dealer I worked at, any tech could shut off any car that anybody was running for any amount of time if that car did not have an exhaust hose hooked to it and we always worked with the doors open (its a Arizona thing,sorry you cold climate people)

OOh whee! Proved a point but now the son in law isn’t talking to me. Oh well! At least he and she are alive. Blessings to you all, you may have saved a couple of lives.

I would think by now the answer is obvious.

One thing I would like to add is the fact the CO fumes can and will penetrate the wall between the garage and house (easier if the garage has an accessible door direct into the house).

I hope there aren’t any children being subjected to this misconstrued idea.

(Looks like the SIL needs a little help)

Car in garage even with door open can kill the people inside the house. Even if one person has a death wish, it doesn’t give him the right to take others with him. How many years of disasters does it take to get through to people? It’s mainly in cold weather that carbon monoxide related deaths occur.

Could you explain to your son-in-law what a block heater is? Where I live all cars have them and set on a timer to go on at 5 am, the engine will be warm when you are ready to leave the house. That way very little idling is needed, which, of course, should be done ON THE DRIVEWAY WITH THE GARAGE DOOR CLOSED!!!

Uh-oh. Email your daughter the link to this discussion, I hope he’s a bigger man than to hold his problem against you…

This is not a ‘meddling mother-in-law’ situation. This is a ‘keep everybody alive’ situation. I hope he understands this!

So if the garage is heated why do you have to idle it at all? Just start it up, hit the remote and back it out, drive gently for the first few miles and live long and healthy lives. Rocketman

I do that anyways here in NH and my garage is NOT heated (AND NEVER WILL BE).

If there is a strong exhaust fan AND a CO monitor, then it might be OK to follow this practice. But I’d rather just open the door and start it. In the case of a 2 door garage, it makes sense to open both doors.

You may be familiar with propane space heaters. They use the oxygen and create CO as well. Owners are cautioned to NEVER use the propane space heater in an enclosed area. A garage is OK as long as the door is open.