Line up for the border

  #1  
Old 08-19-2007, 07:25 PM
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Question Line up for the border

I had one of those 2.5 hour waits at the border today. Even though the air was off, occasionally it would start the ICE for a few minutes while I was sitting in line not moving. Any ideas why that would be?
 
  #2  
Old 08-19-2007, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: Line up for the border

It runs the engine once in a while to keep the catalytic converter at standard operating temperature. I think I read that you can disable that by shifting into neutral... that's your only way to tell the car to "stand down" I guess!

Which border crossing?
 
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Old 08-19-2007, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Line up for the border

Thanks for the info.
I was crossing from Canada to the USA.
 
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Old 08-19-2007, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Line up for the border

My '05 FEH will cycle the engine from time to time. My '06 Prius will leave the engine off until the battery gets too low.

This is basically one of the points where Ford really didn't think things through. They claim that the federal emissions standards require them to get the catalytic up to temp and keep it there. So they run the engine until the catalytic heats up even though you're stuck going nowhere and the engine isn't doing anything useful -- it's just burning fuel and generating emissions.

Toyota leaves the engine off if it's not doing any useful work (e.g. not moving the vehicle) even when the engine isn't fully warmed up. They figure when you DO move it WILL warm up -- at least that way, while the car is warming up, the car is actually get some work done for the fuel it's burning.

I go through this every time I cross the border.

Oh... and if you anticipate needing to cross the border often, apply for a Nexus card. Here's the URL: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel/nexus/menu-e.html
(whether you are a resident of the US or Canada, you still download the application and follow the instructions on the Canadian website.).

Regards,
Tim
 
  #5  
Old 08-20-2007, 04:40 AM
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Default Re: Line up for the border

A little while ago we sat about 8 cars back from the toll booth for the Bluewater Bridge for about 45 minutes waiting. Naturally you would assume the reason for the delay would be homeland security or something along those lines. But it actually appeared the Canadian toll booth workers were on a work-slowdown or something- they weren't letting any cars through! Very frustrating. Oh well, the 24 bottles of Rickards Red purchased at the duty free shop are my consolation prize.
 
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Old 08-20-2007, 06:26 AM
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Default Re: Line up for the border

Originally Posted by Brady View Post
It runs the engine once in a while to keep the catalytic converter at standard operating temperature. I think I read that you can disable that by shifting into neutral... that's your only way to tell the car to "stand down" I guess!

Which border crossing?
This is true and I use it all the time. If you are stopped and the engine goes off and you shift to neutral, the engine cannot restart until the car is put back in drive OR if you are rolling at 6MPH (I think thats what GaryG said in his post). So if you are sitting in traffic.... by all means keep that engine off! (and remember if you are using a drive up or an ATM you can always put on that parking brake while you do your business to ensure you don't roll around while in Neutral). I'm usually not comfortable doing the latter in traffic jams and such because I don't believe the brake lights are activated with the parking brake... so I'm always afraid the idiot behind me will think I'm moving and rear end me.
 
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Old 08-20-2007, 07:07 AM
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Default Re: Line up for the border

Maybe I'm missing something but... Why not turn it off? When I'm stuck (i.e. railroad crossing) I usually turn the key to ACC to avoid engine cycling and stop pumps from running.

Sometimes I go four blocks from home to a busy street, then a few more blocks to a big intersection. At busy times, the turn lane backs up and it takes a few signal cycles to get through. Stuck, with a cold ICE, my FEH runs for several minutes until it's done warming. If I'm not first in line and don't need air blowing, I turn it off. When the light changes, it takes less than 2 seconds to fire it up and put it in 'D'.

Also, when my FEH is in 'RUN' there are one or more water pumps running continuously. I'd rather leave those off too if I'm not going anywhere.

Like I said, maybe I'm missing something. If you need to keep moving forward every few seconds then this is obviously not a good plan. But if the situation involves sitting at a standstill for more than 30 seconds I'd recommend turning the whole thing off.
 
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Old 08-20-2007, 07:07 AM
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Default Re: Line up for the border

Originally Posted by Brady View Post
Naturally you would assume the reason for the delay would be homeland security or something along those lines. But it actually appeared the Canadian toll booth workers were on a work-slowdown or something- they weren't letting any cars through! Very frustrating.
Oh, OK. I would have wrongly guessed that it was Bush's trip to Canada which tightened up everything. Possibly, Canada thought one "bad" American was enough.
 
  #9  
Old 08-20-2007, 07:32 AM
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Default Re: Line up for the border

Hi,

I might be wrong, but I thought the whole point for the engine cycling was to keep the Cat warm. When it is cold and you start, the emisions are pretty bad. I imagine that even starting is up a few times to keep the cat above a certain temp is better than having to do a cold start every time the traffic moves. Lets say the engine computer would start up the ICE every 4 minutes (I am guessing here for the sake of argument) to keep the cat warm. You go to neutral and keep the ICE off for 6 minutes, then start it again to move 10 feet. Your start was a cold one so it might have emitted more polutants than if you let it cycle on its own, and you moved forward those 10 feet on electric power. Since movement is not a pre-requisite for the ICE to start, the only reasons to start the ICE are to keep the cat warm and maintain the battery. Whether or not that co-insides with the vehicle moving is not relevant.

I'm not saying for sure that the Ford strategy is better, but it may not be wrong in many cases despite being unintuitive. They have to come up with a strategy that given it's limited input (it does not see traffic, or know your intentions), minimizes emisions and consumption. It would be nice if there was a stop and go mode where one could keep the ICE off for extended periods (say 30 minutes) since we, the drivers, know we'll be sitting for a long while and won't need to go for more than a few feet every few minutes or so. I'd still bet that it woud not reduce emisions that much though.

Cheers,

rcomeau
 
  #10  
Old 08-20-2007, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: Line up for the border

Originally Posted by mtberman View Post
Maybe I'm missing something but... Why not turn it off? When I'm stuck (i.e. railroad crossing) I usually turn the key to ACC to avoid engine cycling and stop pumps from running.

Sometimes I go four blocks from home to a busy street, then a few more blocks to a big intersection. At busy times, the turn lane backs up and it takes a few signal cycles to get through. Stuck, with a cold ICE, my FEH runs for several minutes until it's done warming. If I'm not first in line and don't need air blowing, I turn it off. When the light changes, it takes less than 2 seconds to fire it up and put it in 'D'.

Also, when my FEH is in 'RUN' there are one or more water pumps running continuously. I'd rather leave those off too if I'm not going anywhere.

Like I said, maybe I'm missing something. If you need to keep moving forward every few seconds then this is obviously not a good plan. But if the situation involves sitting at a standstill for more than 30 seconds I'd recommend turning the whole thing off.
Everytime you go from ACC to ON, I beleive engine will restart and run for 30 seconds or so.... every time. If you sit in Neutral and move to drive to creep forward, the engine would only restart if it "needed" to otherwise, EV... when creeping forward a few feet for each car in line I prefer the latter. It might be better to go to ACC in some cases, but it woudl be if you were waiting for alot more than 30 seconds. On a warm day mine will not have to cycle the engine that often!
 

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