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Hi All,

My friend accidentally left my 2011 RAV4 (4 cyl, 89,000 km) running for 5 hours in the garage. Luckily no one was hurt. When I turned the engine on and driving the check engine light, 4WD, and VSC lights stay on. The engine seems to be running fine. What should I do?

Thank you in advance.
 

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Your Humble Administrator
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Hi All,

My friend left my 2011 RAV4 (4 cyl, 89,000 km) running for 5 hours in the garage. Luckily no one was hurt. When I turned the engine on and driving the check engine light, 4WD, and VSC lights stay on. The engine seems to be running fine. What should I do?

Thank you in advance.
You're very lucky. My half sister and her husband were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning while letting their car warm up in the garage. As for the lights you might want to read through this thread:

http://www.rav4world.com/forums/99-4-3-mechanical/85765-check-engine-light-vsc-4wd-lights-explained.html
 

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Hi All,

My friend left my 2011 RAV4 (4 cyl, 89,000 km) running for 5 hours in the garage. Luckily no one was hurt. When I turned the engine on and driving the check engine light, 4WD, and VSC lights stay on. The engine seems to be running fine. What should I do?

Thank you in advance.

That is bizarre - why would anyone leave a car running for five hours or even for five minutes in what presumably was a closed garage? :surprise


Hopefully you can get the dash lights staying on situation resolved.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
JuneBug - Sorry to hear about your half-sister and her husband. Thank you for pointing me to the other thread.
 

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Thanks Blogson. My friend isn't familiar with the push button start/stop and didn't realize he left the car running.
 

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JuneBug - Sorry to hear about your half-sister and her husband. Thank you for pointing me to the other thread.
They were from the deep south, moved to Pennsylvania, and were not prepared for the cold and snow. They lived upstairs in a condo where the garage was downstairs and the garage door at the top of the stairs was closed. I guess they had no idea the fumes would rise up and enter the upstairs area.
 

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My friend accidentally left my 2011 RAV4 (4 cyl, 89,000 km) running for 5 hours in the garage. Luckily no one was hurt. When I turned the engine on and driving the check engine light, 4WD, and VSC lights stay on. The engine seems to be running fine. What should I do?

Thank you in advance.
The first thing I'd do is reset the codes. They may not come back.
And let's hope letting the car run like that doesn't happen again. I lost a BIL the same way, idling his pickup in his garage.
I have a CO detector in my garage. It will alarm within 2 minutes or less of idling a car with the doors closed.
 
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That is bizarre - why would anyone leave a car running for five hours or even for five minutes in what presumably was a closed garage? :surprise


Hopefully you can get the dash lights staying on situation resolved.
When you copied his post, you accidentally left out the word accidentally.
 

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When you copied his post, you accidentally left out the word accidentally.
Interesting! When both JuneBug and Blogson quoted Rockhopper's post the word "accidentally" disappeared, but when I did it was there. I could edit both their posts to put it back in but then your post would be very confusing. :doh:

And besides, if I edited a post from our esteemed and highly decorated fearless leader and administrator I might get fired and lose all present and future retirement benefits. :crying
 

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Maybe just leave the battery disconnected for half an hour and see if the system resets. I broke my key off in a car once and, long story short, had to leave the car running for about 8 hours while I waited for a locksmith to tap the broken key out of the ignition so I could unlock the steering wheel. It was on a 94 Ford Probe. No lights, but the car definitely ran funny for a week or so after that. I traded it in a month later on my Mustang, so I don't know what the long term impact was.
 

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When you copied his post, you accidentally left out the word accidentally.

"Accidentally" omitted accidentally or not, it is beyond my comprehension that a responsible person would leave a vehicle running in a situation such as that. :surprise.
 

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"Accidentally" omitted accidentally or not, it is beyond my comprehension that a responsible person would leave a vehicle running in a situation such as that. :surprise.
It is possible to do. You go out to warm up the car and then forget that it is warming up as something else distracts you and your plans to leave the house change. I could leave my car running in the garage and not have anything to remind me because I can't hear or see what is going on in there. That's why I'm glad my remote start automatically shuts the car off after 20 or 30 minutes so it isn't ever forgotten. I've only discovered that time limit once and it was a situation where I forgot the car was warming up.

As far as the presumption that the garage was closed, there isn't anything in the original statement which would suggest that. When I warm my car up I open the garage door. I think it is incomprehensible that a reasonable person would warm their car up in a closed garage, but as far as forgetting it was on, I think that could happen.

I think it is strange that with as crazy as all the environmentalists are about idling cars that there hasn't been some legislation pushed in the past 10 years requiring auto manufacturers to put some sort of time out safety feature on cars that idle while in park for more than 30 minutes. If it has been sitting there for 30 minutes then you have either forgotten about it or you are actively polluting the environment while waiting in the carpool line at school. I think a time out feature would be a good idea for the environment and safety in general.
 

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My 2015 Acura TLX shuts off the remote start after 10 minutes. No way to program it otherwise or maybe the dealer could.

In my RAV4 with aftermarket remote starter, it can be programmed anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes.
 

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There have been warnings about running car engines in garages with the door open as it is said that CO can build up to dangerous levels even then. Don't know how true that is but it appears to be accepted as such at least in newspaper articles.

If I were so remiss as to forget about a car which I had started and/or "accidentally" left running for that period of time even if in an open garage I would seriously think that it was time to stop driving and surrender my driver licence!

Hopefully at least the OP has solved the dash warning lights problem.
 

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I think it is strange that <snip> there hasn't been some legislation pushed in the past 10 years requiring auto manufacturers to put some sort of time out safety feature on cars that idle while in park for more than 30 minutes. If it has been sitting there for 30 minutes then you have either forgotten about it or you are actively polluting the environment while waiting in the carpool line at school. I think a time out feature would be a good idea for the environment and safety in general.
My guess is that a lot of taxi drivers and police officers (for sure) would not like such a feature, especially if they are in very cold states.

I think it boils down to the fact that at some point people ultimately need to be held responsible for their actions.

.
 

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Maybe just leave the battery disconnected for half an hour and see if the system resets. I broke my key off in a car once and, long story short, had to leave the car running for about 8 hours while I waited for a locksmith to tap the broken key out of the ignition so I could unlock the steering wheel. It was on a 94 Ford Probe. No lights, but the car definitely ran funny for a week or so after that. I traded it in a month later on my Mustang, so I don't know what the long term impact was.
You can jam a potato or something similar into the tailpipe, and I guarantee it will quit running in a few minutes. Eddie Murphy used the old banana in the tailpipe trick in Beverly Hills Cop.
 

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My guess is that a lot of taxi drivers and police officers (for sure) would not like such a feature, especially if they are in very cold states.

I think it boils down to the fact that at some point people ultimately need to be held responsible for their actions.

.
As one who was trained as a police officer, I can tell you that we are told NOT to idle our cars. We wear coats for a reason. It is a rare and almost non-existent case where the 2 seconds it takes to turn on your car makes a difference between life and death. Cab drivers are in the same boat. They can just shut the car off and wait. Turn it back on for a minute and let the heater run on high and then shut it off again. I get it if it is 20 below 0 then you may not enjoy not being able to idle, but the soccer moms out there and everybody else who lets their car sit on the curb idling are what causes the air to be brown in my valley. It is unhealthy to even jog in the morning the air gets so bad. I think people can live with a little discomfort to improve the quality of life for everybody else.

Idling Your Car in These States Is Illegal - Car Pre-Start Laws

It is illegal in most of the states in this country to let your car idle. It doesn't matter if you are a taxi driver or someone picking someone up at the airport. Enforcement is nearly impossible, but cops who have nothing better to do and just want to give tickets can easily just drive around citing people for idling just like meter maids. That being said, I do have a remote start and my car does idle from time to time. I'm definitely not perfect and I'm rolling the dice that cops have better things to do than drive through my parking lot and cite me for warming my car up. I'm a hypocrite and I know it, but I also shut the car down when picking someone up at the airport or when I go pick my kids up at school. I'm suggesting we all just consider the consequences of idling and limit the amount we do.
 

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As one who was trained as a police officer, I can tell you that we are told NOT to idle our cars. We wear coats for a reason. It is a rare and almost non-existent case where the 2 seconds it takes to turn on your car makes a difference between life and death. Cab drivers are in the same boat. They can just shut the car off and wait. Turn it back on for a minute and let the heater run on high and then shut it off again. I get it if it is 20 below 0 then you may not enjoy not being able to idle, but the soccer moms out there and everybody else who lets their car sit on the curb idling are what causes the air to be brown in my valley. It is unhealthy to even jog in the morning the air gets so bad. I think people can live with a little discomfort to improve the quality of life for everybody else.

Idling Your Car in These States Is Illegal - Car Pre-Start Laws

It is illegal in most of the states in this country to let your car idle. It doesn't matter if you are a taxi driver or someone picking someone up at the airport. Enforcement is nearly impossible, but cops who have nothing better to do and just want to give tickets can easily just drive around citing people for idling just like meter maids. That being said, I do have a remote start and my car does idle from time to time. I'm definitely not perfect and I'm rolling the dice that cops have better things to do than drive through my parking lot and cite me for warming my car up. I'm a hypocrite and I know it, but I also shut the car down when picking someone up at the airport or when I go pick my kids up at school. I'm suggesting we all just consider the consequences of idling and limit the amount we do.
Police officer training or not, almost every cop I've seen sitting in their car has the engine running, winter(heat) or summer(AC). It's their office, why not?
 

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I am looking into Eberspaecher cabin and engine heaters.
They have a universal kit. I'm trying to find room to
fit it.
 

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Police officer training or not, almost every cop I've seen sitting in their car has the engine running, winter(heat) or summer(AC). It's their office, why not?
They do it here too, usually with the hood cracked open.
 
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