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Please Help - Is there a health hazard?

First, some background information: I have a neighbor who owns a “Kit Car” and leaves it sitting in his assigned parking spot year-round. Recently, my neighbor decided to start taking better care of his Kit Car and began going out every couple of days and turning the car on and then revving the engine to prevent battery failure. The revving of the engine causes a noxious set of fumes to enter my dwelling through opened windows. Next, my questions: Is it truly necessary for this neighbor to rev the engine in order to keep the battery from dying each time he turns the car on? Are there any health risks posed by the fumes my 19month old daughter and I are being forced to breathe? Are there any health risks from the excessively high noise level put out by his car engine? I only because when I asked this neighbor to let me know when he was going to turn the car on so I could shut my windows he told me I was crazy and not smelling fumes from his car. Further information: the parking spot is about 5 feet below my windows and directly in front of the windows and he recently has turned his car around so that the tailpipes are now pointed towards my windows. I do seem to feel funny when I breathe the fumes and that is why I am concerned for both my daughter and I. Please help us. Thank you!

Yes, there are serious health risks.
No, he is not doing it right. He should drive the car now and then to keep all the seals in good shape. If he’s only worried about the battery, then get a battery charger or tender.
Home Depot has some cheap CO detectors that have a readout of the level. Get one now, and show it to your jerk of a neighbor.

Update replaced “help” with “health”


So that you don’t think that only one reply indicates a lack of consensus, I must agree and reassert that you tell him a.s.a.p. to cease and desist immediately.

If he won’t listen to you or us, try your local fire department for an air quality report at the time he’s doing it. ( I’ll bet that the mere sight of fire officials at you place will snap him to attention REAL fast. )

Yes, and he’s actually harming his motor by short run periods. It doesn’t warm up properly and gas and water end up going into the oil. He either needs to get a battery tender (the better answer) or drive the car for 20-30 minutes.

You’ve already taken the first step, you’ve asked your neighbor about it, and he basically told to screw off. The next step would be to call the local authorities and let them know of your situation. As a kit car, it most likely doesn’t have a catalytic converter on it, so the raw burning gas fumes ARE escaping from the tail pipes.
This is a MAJOR health issue, people committed suicide in the old days by running a hose from the tailpipe to the cabin to allow the fumes to come in and suffocate from carbon monoxide poisoning.

I sympathize with you, the co poisoning see as a very remote possibility, but even though gas is lead free it is sure something I would not want my baby daughter to endure. I don’t know that there would be a legal remedy, so my advice would be to try and work with this guy, even at the cost of a six pack. Let him know that the fumes from his exhaust are a sincere annoyance and would appreciate if he could move it out a bit as it fills your place with exhaust fumes, and you have a baby, and we get nauseous from the fumes while the car is running. Thank him for his cooperation in this issue.

Yes, exhaust fumes, regardless of the source, are hazardous to you and your daughter.

Your neighbor doesn’t know much about cars. He’s not doing his engine any favors by starting it an revving it up. He’s actually doing more harm than good.

Cross your fingers. Maybe he’ll blow it up.

Does this “kit car” have a license plate on it? In many localities it is illegal to park an unlicensed vehicle. This may be why he turned it around so the rear end faces the building.

Thank you everyone for you advice and support! I have a meeting tomorrow morning with the management of the property and will probably go the route of calling local authorities if the manager cannot change his mind quickly. I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow!

You might see if others are also bothered by it, it’d be better to have several complaints to give the manager.

This guy is a real piece of work. You have a very valid complaint and a valid concern. I just feel the more you push this guy the more stubborn he will get. You must get creative in finding a solution. I myself would probably get angry,but you don’t do that OK?

Thank you oldschool, My plan is to show the property management the traffic and vehicle violations this guy has with just looking at his car. He has expired out-of-state plates and is not displaying the trip permit he says he has on the vehicle where the law mandates it. I am hoping with this information management can compell him to correct the issue first. My next step would probably be to buy a CO detector for my daughter’s room and video tape the readings while he is performing the “battery maintenance”. Then if all of that still did not work I would ask my sister’s husband how I can get the fire department to do an air quality test since he is a firefighter :slight_smile:

lead free gas shouldn’t have anything to do with it. The Chevelle I used to have would make noxious fumes even with unleaded fuel in it. I tried working near it for a little bit while it warmed up one day, and could not stand to be near the tail pipes for more than a couple seconds before the fumes got to me.

Every municipality is different, but air quality tests may be done by the Board of Public Health, not necessarily the fire department. Call and find out.

Lead free was a reference to things could be worse, like when I was growing up.

Well it is harmful as mentioned. A recent study showed being in traffic for one hour increases the risk of a heart attack for the next few hours. Now for me living in South CA, I end up in traffic for more than an hour, but in your case this guy is just out there. Do you have a HOA? If yes I am sure there should be something there about parking a car for indefinite amount of time and also about smoking/leaking cars. For the most part nobody knows these rules and people don’t call on each other. But then most violations are minor. Do I really care if my next door guys van is dripping two drops of oil each night in his own driveway? In your case it is time to dig into the books of the HOA and see what your rights are. Having said that I still like the 6 pack idea.
On second thought, with the way he is going the car might not last long enough.