Posts Tagged ‘condensate’

What’s This Leaking from the Mayor’s Perpetually Idling Hybrid SUV?

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Well, let’s take a look at these puddles seen the other day. Starting from the rear, dripping out of the tailpipe is water condensing from steam, basically. And up front we have condensate pooling from the air conditioning compressor. So it’s all water, pretty much, and it’s what you’d expect from a car idling for an extended time on a somewhat humid day.

But why is this vehicle seemingly always sitting around idling when it’s seen away from its home base at City Hall? Well, the short answer, as it is always, is “security.” But that’s a little funny in this context, with the hybrid drivetrain ‘n stuff. Let’s read on.

Here it is, just a ‘Xam or two from the curb, idling the minutes away. 


So number one, the hybird part don’t work when you’re idling your old-school, gas-powered V-8 engine. It’s not a factor, you’re just idling. Now, it may be that you don’t want to have a problem getting your vehicle fired up when the time comes to get going. All right, but that leads us to number two – the idle-stop feature.

This SUV shuts down its engine at every red light – that’s one of the major ways the hybrid system saves on gas. So much for keeping the engine spinning for the sake of  “security.” Maybe the driver needs the juice from the idling motor to power the nuclear football or whatever else is in there. Not impossible, who knows.  

Oh well.