Trade-offs: to idle or shut the engine off if making repeated stops in a short period?

starters

#1

If one were to need to repeatedly stop (e.g., for field research – we stop at 42 points/12 miles, 24x/month for 5 warm months of the year) a Chevy Silverado for a minimum of a few minutes per stop, would it be more cost-effective to shut the engine down each stop (to save the gas) or let it idle (given that the restarting the engine that often could put significant wear and tear on the starter)?


#2

At two minutes idle I would say it would be better to let it idle at 10 minutes I would say turn it off. In-between I would say it does not make enough difference to worry about.

Different cars are going to be a little different on this. Consider diesel trucks that are left running for long periods and hybrids that turn the engine off for even a few seconds. Both the trucks and the hybrids are right.


#3

Ditto 100%. Besides, you won’t be polluting and saving fuel and wear on an idling engine at the same time.

I’ll bet your stops are longer than a few minutes too.


#4

The best damage happens when you forget that the engine is already running. I just want to get there.


#5

Any stop “a few minutes” long is enough to turn off the engine. The starter is designed to start the engine, and you will not hurt it. Shut the engine off and save the fuel.


#6

Shut the engine off each time. Save the fuel. A 2-minute stop can easily be delayed into a 10-minute stop, as you certainly know better than I.

It ain’t worth it to try to baby the starter. If you keep the vehicle for its full lifespan you are likely to replace the starter one time whether you pamper it or not. More likely you will replace this vehicle with its original starter still in place. Either way, what’s to gain by running the engine?

I vote for the shutdown at each stop.