Q: Carbon monoxide question

asked by on

If I were to work with my dad on our Honda this weekend for anywhere from 2-10 hours in our garage, would the carbon monoxide be toxic or lethal? I know newer cars release more CO, but would it still be dangerous?

Thanks for your interesting scientific question. Actually, sort of unexpectedly, as the research turned out the principal hazard to the public (i.e., you) from CO (as measured by both mortality and morbidity statistics) has turned out to be the chronic exposure to CO that tens of millions of people experience, not the acute incidents, causing death, that you read about in the newspaper or hear on the news.

That is, a principle scientific finding has that sub-lethal, long term (chronic) exposure to CO, in polluted cities (or that you are contemplating in the garage) is causes permanent, or at least long term, damage to the cardiovascular system as well as the tissues in certain organs. You can readily learn about this "chronic" versus "acute" distinction, and the death toll attributable to each category of exposure, on the Internet.

With regard to your specific question, yes, you could definitely die from acute exposure over 2 hours in a closed in garage (and probably a lot less time than that if the motor is running continuously). Ideally, the acceptable level of exposure to this deadly molecule is close to zero PPM. Consequently, you would be unwise to knowingly occupy a "closed in" or confined space where you are sure the gas is being produced

If you need help with repairs on your Honda Pilot, YourMechanic would be pleased to come to your home and service your car.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Carbon monoxide question

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: What does the Immobilizer System indicator mean on the dash?

If you see a green key-shaped light on your dash, that’s the Immobilizer System indicator. It should come on at several points during vehicle operation and it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is anything wrong at all. Here’s what you...

Q: P0171 & P0174

These two trouble codes are both related to the oxygen sensors located after the catalytic converter detecting that your vehicle is running lean. There could be a fuel pressure problem, vacuum leak, a vacuum hose left unplugged, an intake air...

Q: Finding hidden kill switches

If the vehicle will not start, an unknown aftermarket "kill switch" that is active, would be found in the course of a no start diagnostic. On the other hand, if a remotely operated device exists, but it is not presently...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...