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    Thread: Question: How long will a car idle with a full tank of gas?

    1. Member what's Avatar
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      09-18-2010 02:52 AM #1
      So I filled my car up today and then I had to pick my dog up from the groomer and I left it running with the AC on while I really quickly ran an errand (I was within 20 feet of my car at all times with it in my plaint sight, so I wasn't worried about it being stolen). My question: how long will your average car idle with the AC on with a full tank of gas? Anyone know? Guesses? I'm thinking 36 hours (which came out of my butt)

      It was the Civic in neutral with with parking brake on.

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      09-18-2010 02:55 AM #2
      I left my 02 V6 Tundra idling all night once.
      It was still idling the next afternoon.
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    3. 09-18-2010 02:56 AM #3
      0.25 gallons per hour x 13.2 gallons (Civic numbers) or almost 53 hours.
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    4. Member what's Avatar
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      09-18-2010 02:57 AM #4
      but what was the fuel situation like? Did it start with a full tank? was it down 1/2? 1/3? 3/4?
      how come a transvestite donkey witch is next to you and why is it wearing a dress?

      Say 'what' again. Say 'what' again, I dare you, I double dare you mother****er, say what one more goddamn time!

    5. 09-18-2010 09:02 AM #5
      usually till the raditor blows
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      09-18-2010 09:17 AM #6
      Answer: It will idle until the car runs out of gasoline.
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      09-18-2010 09:19 AM #7
      I've always wondered this actually lol.

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      09-18-2010 09:24 AM #8
      The instantaneous fuel consumption readout in my GTI says it is burns 1.2 litres per hour at idle, so with 55 litres in the tank it should take mine about 45.8 hours. Oddly I was just thinking of this yesterday as I sat in traffic. I had just filled up, and I was letting my mind wander to such esoteric topics such as how long my car could idle there if the traffic didn't move.
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      09-18-2010 09:57 AM #9
      I left a car running all night once and by the next morning when I discovered it is was approximately 1/4 of a tank lower. I had gotten home during a huge rainstorm and was apparently more concerned with running inside a quickly as possible than I was about turning the car off! The car was a 95 Oldsmobile with a 3100 V6.
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      09-18-2010 10:09 AM #10
      Had a friend in High School who "accidently" locked his keys in the ignition while his car was running one morning in the school parking lot. He said F it and went to class. It burned about 1/4 of a tank during the whole school day. The car in question was a 79 Toyota Corolla wagon. Carb'd 1.8 liter I think. Damn thing never overheated even in Florida in the late spring....(read mid 90s). Called AAA after class and drove home. Cool Story Bro.
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      09-18-2010 10:15 AM #11
      I remember in chicago a few years ago, they had such a cold winter people would leave their cars on all night so it doesnt die.....it was THAT cold....And i had my hummer idle for 2 hours once, and lost 1/4 tank of gas lol

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      09-18-2010 10:16 AM #12
      Last year when the NE had a big ice storm, my mom lost power in her house so I had to bring her a generator. The guy in the house next door was using his F550 dump to power what looked like the whole first floor of his house.

      There was another story I read about a guy (electrical engineer) that used his Prius to do the same thing. He wired the car into the electrical panel in his house. The car would power his fridge, stove, TV, space heater and a few lights off the batteries, and when the batteries got low enough, the car would fire up the gas engine to replenish the batteries then shut itself off again. I think he said the Prius could go like that for about five days before it ran out of gas. I though it was pretty ingenious.
      Last edited by JMillerUA6; 09-18-2010 at 10:18 AM.

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      09-18-2010 11:17 AM #13
      I wonder if the Veyron would idle past 20 minutes

    14. 09-18-2010 11:23 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by ohsnappe2 View Post
      usually till the raditor blows
      Why would the rad blow on a correctly cooled car?

    15. 09-18-2010 11:23 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by JMillerUA6 View Post
      Last year when the NE had a big ice storm, my mom lost power in her house so I had to bring her a generator. The guy in the house next door was using his F550 dump to power what looked like the whole first floor of his house.

      There was another story I read about a guy (electrical engineer) that used his Prius to do the same thing. He wired the car into the electrical panel in his house. The car would power his fridge, stove, TV, space heater and a few lights off the batteries, and when the batteries got low enough, the car would fire up the gas engine to replenish the batteries then shut itself off again. I think he said the Prius could go like that for about five days before it ran out of gas. I though it was pretty ingenious.
      I really really wish that GM would include this feature with the Volt, at least as an option. The Volt is essentially an electrical generator, so it would only be an add on component to convert it to 120v ac.

    16. 09-18-2010 11:41 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by Jettavr666 View Post
      I really really wish that GM would include this feature with the Volt, at least as an option. The Volt is essentially an electrical generator, so it would only be an add on component to convert it to 120v ac.
      You mean there are no 120V outlets in the car? Don't some new cars already have 120V outlets in the trunk and stuff? I could have sworn that I've seen a few cars like this... If not, it's easily done with a simple inverter.

    17. 09-18-2010 11:41 AM #17
      According to my ScanGauge, the Civic uses something like .26 GPH at idle with the AC off. It has a 13.1 gallon tank, so it would be capable of about 51 hours of idling.

      Just saw the other post. Looks like the 1.8 is slightly more frugal at idle, as one would expect.
      Last edited by Samson; 09-18-2010 at 11:47 AM.

    18. Member JMillerUA6's Avatar
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      09-18-2010 11:45 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by corradokreep View Post
      You mean there are no 120V outlets in the car? Don't some new cars already have 120V outlets in the trunk and stuff? I could have sworn that I've seen a few cars like this... If not, it's easily done with a simple inverter.
      Of all cars....a 120v outlet was available as an option in the Aztec IIRC.

    19. 09-18-2010 11:56 AM #19
      and to answer the original question, you just need to know the idle fuel consumption, which will depend on the motor. Something like a scanguage can tell you that info, then multiply it by the capacity of the fuel tank, and you have your answer.

    20. Member GermaniuM's Avatar
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      09-18-2010 12:01 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by JMillerUA6 View Post

      There was another story I read about a guy (electrical engineer) that used his Prius to do the same thing. He wired the car into the electrical panel in his house. The car would power his fridge, stove, TV, space heater and a few lights off the batteries, and when the batteries got low enough, the car would fire up the gas engine to replenish the batteries then shut itself off again. I think he said the Prius could go like that for about five days before it ran out of gas. I though it was pretty ingenious.
      That's not how Prius works. It doesn't generate electricity to recharge it's batteries. That's how Chevy Volt works. I've seen somewhere that Volt can be use to as a generator to power a house.

    21. Member JMillerUA6's Avatar
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      09-18-2010 12:04 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by GermaniuM View Post
      That's not how Prius works. It doesn't generate electricity to recharge it's batteries. That's how Chevy Volt works. I've seen somewhere that Volt can be use to as a generator to power a house.
      I'm just saying what the guy in the article said. I'm not keen on how the electrical systems in the Prius work.

      EDIT: Found the article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/...ncy-generator/

      NYTimes December 23, 2008, 9:58 am

      Prius: It’s Not Just a Car, It’s an Emergency Generator


      The Prius has a new use, and it does not involve driving. The Harvard Press — which serves the Massachusetts town of Harvard as opposed to the university — reported that the car’s battery helped keep the lights on for some locals during the recent ice storms.

      The newspaper reports that John Sweeney, a resident who lost power, “ran his refrigerator, freezer, TV, woodstove fan and several lights through his Prius, for three days, on roughly five gallons of gas.”

      Said Mr. Sweeney, in an e-mail message to The Press: “When it looked like we were going to be without power for awhile, I dug out an inverter (which takes 12v DC and creates 120v AC from it) and wired it into our Prius.”

      According to the newspaper, “the device allowed the engine to run every half hour, automatically charging the car battery and indirectly supplying the required power.” (The Times reported on a similar venture last year.)

      In fact, this development, which comes at a tough time for Toyota, which makes the Prius, may not be as strange as it sounds. Mr. Sweeney’s tinkering is along the lines of the “smart grid” technology that many utility executives and other experts say lies in our future. The idea is that the battery of an electric car — a plug-in, in most smart-grid scenarios — can feed power to the electricity grid when the grid needs it.

      Even President-elect Barack Obama has endorsed this idea, as seen toward the end of this YouTube clip in which he said: “We’re going to have to have a smart grid if we want to use plug-in hybrids — then we want to be able to have ordinary consumers sell back the electricity that’s generated.”
      Last edited by JMillerUA6; 09-18-2010 at 12:08 PM.

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      09-18-2010 12:08 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by JMillerUA6 View Post
      Of all cars....a 120v outlet was available as an option in the Aztec IIRC.
      And in 2005 Toyota Matrices.
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    23. 09-18-2010 12:12 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by corradokreep View Post
      You mean there are no 120V outlets in the car? Don't some new cars already have 120V outlets in the trunk and stuff? I could have sworn that I've seen a few cars like this... If not, it's easily done with a simple inverter.
      Eh not really what im talking about. The systems you talk about are inverters that step up 12v to 120v. The volt is a much larger generator (53kw) that if there was some additional software and hardware added to the car could be used to provide emergency power. Inverters can do this, but they would be very large and expensive, and still couldnt provide anywhere close to the power output on the volt. To put it in perspective most home generators are in the 3-12kw range, anything more is usually a built in unit which for residential purposes range from 10-60kw.

    24. 09-18-2010 12:56 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by JMillerUA6 View Post
      This is the future of electric cars. I work with an electric car company, and we are working on using cars to power houses and recharging them in off-peak times.

      Software will be developed to manage power use and loadlevel. With energy demands increasing and capacity getting limited the energy industry will start going to peak demand to load level and encourage smarter energy use. A cars electric batterys are ideal for this application.

      A good way to load limit energy use and limit blackouts.

    25. Member what's Avatar
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      09-18-2010 01:02 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by Jettavr666 View Post
      and to answer the original question, you just need to know the idle fuel consumption, which will depend on the motor. Something like a scanguage can tell you that info, then multiply it by the capacity of the fuel tank, and you have your answer.
      Really, you mean by knowing the actual numbers I could do a little math and get the answer? Who knew?!!!!
      how come a transvestite donkey witch is next to you and why is it wearing a dress?

      Say 'what' again. Say 'what' again, I dare you, I double dare you mother****er, say what one more goddamn time!

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