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Thread: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

  1. #1
    Enlightened EatSleepRunBike's Avatar
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    Default Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    How much gas does your car use while idling? How many hours per gallon would you get from a midsized SUV?
    Eat, sleep, run, bike, what more do you need?

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    Flashaholic* abvidledUK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    Enough to see the mpg figure go down on the display in my Jeep.
    Batteries, batteries, I need more batteries ........

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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    I don't know about gassers, my TDI consumes about .22L per hour or .058 gallons or 7.5 oz of diesel per hour idling.
    Brock - Used to have some web sites

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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    It seems this is not a figure that is often made public. I found several web sites that said 1 to 1.25 gallons per hour for an engine idling at 1000 rpm making 10 BHP.

    I do know that my truck (F150) will seem to drink gallons per hour in a traffic jam, but my Prius will sip a few ounces under the same conditions.

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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    In my Honda Civic hybrid, it's enough to see the MPG rating go down shortly after a fillup (I use one of the trip meters to track mileage so I can calculate mileage per tank accurately). On the other hand, the real-time MPG indicator maxes out at 120mpg at only 20 mph or so when I'm coasting in neutral, so I don't shut the engine off as some of the hardcore hypermilers do.

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    Flashaholic* greenlight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    I hate it when I see people sitting in a parking lot with their engines running to power AC (*especially when it's 65' out). Don't they know we're at war for oil?

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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    i go through a lot of gas having to idle my cars for hours during the winter months

    its getting close to April and we're still having -25F temps

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    Flashaholic Cerbera's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskawolf
    i go through a lot of gas having to idle my cars for hours during the winter months

    its getting close to April and we're still having -25F temps
    Sorry to hear that. I have an 1986 BMW E28 528e. The manual states that 3 minutes of idle is equivalent to 1 mile when driving. It seems pretty vague considering many variables can alter that claim. The only thing I can say is...don't idle.

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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    yeah it sucks but its an unfortunate part of life up here ive had my oil freeze solid after a few hours that i couldnt get the dip stick put, i had to put a pizza pan and bbq charcoal under a car for a few hours to thaw out the motor just to get it started again.

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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskawolf
    yeah it sucks but its an unfortunate part of life up here ive had my oil freeze solid after a few hours that i couldnt get the dip stick put, i had to put a pizza pan and bbq charcoal under a car for a few hours to thaw out the motor just to get it started again.
    At what point would it be cheaper to build a garage? I realize it would be expensive to fully heat it, but just a little bit could keep it warm enough.

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    Flashaholic* 2xTrinity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    One point that's important to keep in mind is that idling fuel consumption will vary dramatically with temperature on most modern cars. A cold engine will often burn about triple what a "warmed up" engine will on most modern cars. Also, pollution will be a lot worse in the case of the cold engine. Generally it is best just to warm up a car by driving it lightly the first few minutes, rather than starting it and letting it sit several minutes. In a place that's very cold, an engine block heater on a timer is probably a good idea.

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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    Quote Originally Posted by havand
    At what point would it be cheaper to build a garage? I realize it would be expensive to fully heat it, but just a little bit could keep it warm enough.
    i rent a cabin so i cant build my own garage here and going out to the stores, movies,friends,etc and such doesnt really give you much of an option ive got engine block heaters,oil pan heaters,battery heaters etc and i cant plug in every where i go either
    Last edited by alaskawolf; 03-20-2007 at 04:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    Have you tried Mobil 0w30 or is that with 0w30 oil?

    Greg
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    Wink2 Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    Quote Originally Posted by 2xTrinity
    One point that's important to keep in mind is that idling fuel consumption will vary dramatically with temperature on most modern cars. A cold engine will often burn about triple what a "warmed up" engine will on most modern cars. Also, pollution will be a lot worse in the case of the cold engine. Generally it is best just to warm up a car by driving it lightly the first few minutes, rather than starting it and letting it sit several minutes. In a place that's very cold, an engine block heater on a timer is probably a good idea.
    I have both an engine block heater, and an oil pan heater. I've learned that it's MUCH cheaper to heat the engine up with electricity, than start it dead cold, and get poor mileage driving it while it warms up. This works in even 'mild' winter weather, when I turn on the heaters from inside the house, so they may only be on 30 min to an hour.
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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    Quote Originally Posted by greg_in_canada
    Have you tried Mobil 0w30 or is that with 0w30 oil?

    Greg
    i perfer to use Amsoil 0W oils in winter time

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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    My scion xa says to not idle it. DOnt prehaeat it, just crank it and go. I woul didle my diesel mercedes for heat or in slowly moving traffic with no problems. With my van I had e250, it sucked the same amount of gas running down the higyway or idling.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    Fuel injectors meter out the needed gas...with carburetors extended idling was not a good idea.
    Last edited by springnr; 03-20-2007 at 09:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    Extended idling is not a good idea in many car models. There was a mercury model (cougar???) that was not supposed to idle for more than 15 minutes. More than that could cause overheating problems.

    Then there was the VW model that did not pump enough oil to the bottem end if it was at idle for extended periods. Was that the 1970's rabbit? I've forgotten.

    All the modern cars advise that you start up and drive away without waiting for things to warm up. Modern oils do a good enough job of lubricating and circulating when cold. Modern fuel systems regulate the fuel mixture much better than the old mechanical choke did.

    I once had a car that HAD to heat up, otherwise it would stall at the first light. Those were the days.

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    Quote Originally Posted by abvidledUK
    Enough to see the mpg figure go down on the display in my Jeep.
    LOL,
    That's because when you are idling you aren't moving. So what happens is when the display calculates how many miles vs how many gallons yo've burned, it actually comes out instantaneously to 0. But your mpg figure will give you an average which will then bring down everything.
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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskawolf
    i perfer to use Amsoil 0W oils in winter time
    Are you saying that Amsoil 0W will freeze solid on you?

    BTW, I have read that if you are idling, like at a train crossing, etc., that it only takes 10 seconds to use up the gas it would take to restart the engine if you had turned it off. So, turning it off in those instances probably saves you quite a bit of gas.

  21. #21
    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    There are problems with killing the engine each time you stop. In most cars, anyway.

    First is the wear and tear on the starter. The standard starter has a fairly short lifespan. It's not unusual for them to wear out in only 10 years under normal use. Add 10 times the usage and the time between failure may become unacceptable.

    Second is the drain on the battery. The modern car often has a battery that is just barely big enough. In stop and go driving you may run down the battery if you stop it every time you come to a stop. Even if it does not go dead, the deeper discharge may cause it to die early.

    The hybrids are designed with these problems in mind. The higher capacity battery pack can handle the drain, and the motors are rated for 100% duty cycle. A great deal of their fuel savings happen when they stop the motor at stop signs and other times that it's not needed.

    Daniel
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    I've heard of electrically heated dip sticks. You just stick them into the oil hole and they warm up the engine. I'd imagine you could even put on one a timer to start warming the engine an hour or so before you wake up, instead of leaving it running all night.

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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightmeup
    Are you saying that Amsoil 0W will freeze solid on you?

    .
    yes it has at -50F and colder

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    Quote Originally Posted by gadget_lover
    There are problems with killing the engine each time you stop. In most cars, anyway.

    First is the wear and tear on the starter. The standard starter has a fairly short lifespan. It's not unusual for them to wear out in only 10 years under normal use. Add 10 times the usage and the time between failure may become unacceptable.

    Second is the drain on the battery. The modern car often has a battery that is just barely big enough. In stop and go driving you may run down the battery if you stop it every time you come to a stop. Even if it does not go dead, the deeper discharge may cause it to die early.

    Daniel
    I say the tradeoff depends on how long you're going to idle and how often you do it. Battery systems are designed to handle this, I don't see the problem there. Got any links?

  25. #25
    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    Links to the problems with killing the engine?

    Ther was an article in either pop sci or pop mechanics in the late 1990's that explained the whole thing. It pointed out that the average driver could conserve a lot (I don't remember how much) if their cars were set up to handle killing and restarting the engines. I'm pretty sure that's the definition of a mild hybrid. Detroit was supposedly working on a standard for lights, radios, etc so that they would handle the increased voltage.

    The article talked at length about one solution, and that is to use 24volt to 48 volt systems. The higher voltage prevents damage to the batteries caused by excessive current/depletion. The second component is an integrated flywheel / starter / generator. The concept could be integrated into virtually every car's current design.

    The reason for the integrated flywheel / starter / generator is threefold. It saves space to use the flywheel. It allows you to spin the engine up to speed instantaneously when you push the gas pedal since it is always enganged (no bendix gears) . It allows a bigger generator to replenish the battery quicker.

    I don't understand why this has not been done en mass. If it's patents that are blocking progress, then maybe the govenment should simply appropriate the patents via some national security/public good mandate. It's not like it's not an obvious idea. The only reason it was not a standard feature 50 years ago is the lack of controling electronics and fuel ejectors to make it clean.


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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    See the last two paragraphs of this article for mention of the 42 volt standard.

    Dan

    http://www.popsci.com/popsci/printer...cbccdrcrd.html
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  27. #27

    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    The 42volt systems are starting to appear in vehicles already. Another of the reasons for it is to have a mild hybrid you need something to keep other systems running when the engine stops. So you are now going to see vehicles with electric power steering and electric brake boosters and throttle by wire.

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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    I think the cold starting and drive my old mercedes 5 miles 3 times a day helped to kill it. Went through 2 sets of glow plugs, a battery and to rod noise. Maybe the use of starting fluid screwed it up, but if it aint got enough compression to start on its own with new plugs, its shot to begin with.

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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    Quote Originally Posted by greenlight
    I hate it when I see people sitting in a parking lot with their engines running to power AC (*especially when it's 65' out). Don't they know we're at war for oil?
    I hate it when people judge my actions because I don't want to bake to death inside my vehicle in the hot summer sun while waiting for something/someone.

    I also hate it when people say this war is about oil.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Gas consumption while idling(parked)

    Quote Originally Posted by greenlight
    I hate it when I see people sitting in a parking lot with their engines running to power AC (*especially when it's 65' out). Don't they know we're at war for oil?
    Last time i checked i decided how to spend my money. To each his own i suppose.
    Last edited by iNDiGLo; 03-25-2007 at 12:15 AM.
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