Leaving the house this AM I saw a smoking truck parked across the street, but the smoke wasn’t what drew my attention, it was the sound. The small delivery van was idling fast and didn’t sound the least bit healthy. The van had smoking coming out the tailpipe, but not much worse than you’d expect from a diesel. It didn’t, however, look or sound like it was going to make it very far at all.
Here’s what made stand and stare: The driver got out, walked around back and looked at the smoking tailpipe. Satisfied it was okay he left van running, locked it and walked off. Here’s the thing… it sounded like the accelerator was stuck half-way down (at least), it was smoking badly and the guy just locks the van and goes (presumably) to find help… with the van still running! It wasn’t the brightest move. The van continued to run at high idle… smoking more and more. It got to the point that it looked like a James Bond smokescreen and cars had to stop for fear of driving through the dense cloud and hitting something.
The driver was gone for several minutes before there was a bang and smoke started coming out from under the hood as well as from the tailpipe. When he came hurrying back with someone in tow and the driver decided it would now be a good time to turn off the truck. Genius.
Pop quiz hot shot: turn off the van or leave it running and walk away?