Q&A - Leaving a Diesel Running While Refuelling

Q&A ImageQuestion: One of the most recent items for discussion in an RV forum that I belong to was the issue of leaving your engine running while refuelling.

The owners with diesels say because of the low flash point of diesel that they never shut their engines off because they need to cool their turbo.

We know that in Canada there are signs saying to turn engine off when refuelling and this also applies to cell phones or any electrical devices.

Some of the owners are quite sarcastic when I suggested they are asking for trouble by not shutting their engines down when refuelling.

Asked the Fire Chief

I turned to an expert, my local fire chief, and can answer this for the province of B.C.

According to the B.C. Fire Code (which is based on Canada's National Fire Code, so this answer may also be uniform across the country) one could choose to leave a diesel engine vehicle running while they refuel it.

Stay Away From Gas Pumps

However, this does not apply unless that vehicle is 6 meters (20 feet) or more distant from a gasoline dispenser.

I've never taken my tape measure with me to a service station and checked, but I suspect that this requirement may be difficult to comply with. In fact, some actually incorporate their gasoline and diesel dispensing into the same pump body making this impossible to comply with.

row of nozzles used for vehicle refuelling

Perhaps it is possible to do this at a commercial card lock facility.

Other Refuelling Rules

That said, a business could choose to prevent you from doing this by posting signs.

It is within their right to impose conditions that are not discriminatory on their sales and if you are not happy with that, you are free to make your purchase elsewhere.

You have no right to override their signage regardless of the fact that you might be in compliance with the Fire Code.

Anti-Idling Bylaws

Anti-idle bylaws may prohibit leaving the engine running while refuelling.

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