What's the effect of idling a car on oil?

AVB

Messages
1,461
Location
Georgia
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
Originally Posted By: Rand
1 hour of idling is about the same as driving 25 miles.
Are you saying the fuel usage is the same ?
The linked flyer states the effect on the oil is the same, it doesn't mention fuel consumption or what speed those 25 miles were driven. In this example they are mostly talking about the high pressure oil pump's effect on the oil.
 
Messages
9,986
Location
Waco, TX
Idling a gasoline engines is typically no big deal, especially the newer EFI vehicles. Diesel engines are another matter altogether - you'll kill a big Cat or Cummmins from too much idle time. The newer "emissions control" diesel engines will cost you HUGE $$$$ from too much idle time.
 
Messages
2,169
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
Idling (or "excessive idling" which is really the problem, not idling in the normal course of stop-and-go traffic or startup) is going to have a much greater effect on the wear components of the engine itself, regardless of the oil used, and relatively little effect on the oil itself, assuming a reasonable Oil Change Interval (OCI). Not sure about the diesel idling thing; having worked in the far north where no diesel motor is shut down 24/7 unless it has heated indoor storage (and there isn't enough of that to go around) so spending 12 hours idling overnight is a normal operating condition unless operated over two 12-hour shifts. Same with half to one ton pickups ... nobody shuts them down and they are inevitably diesels, no gas motor light trucks. Reason is simple, if you shut it down, two hours later (can be less, if wind cools the vehicle) it will never start with out aids (running a flex pipe from the exhaust of another running diesel to the engine compartment, then covering with a tarp for an hour or so is the usual method). Boost (or "Jump") starting isn't going to be enough by itself on a cold motor. Yes, it's cold, below -45F, I've seen it at -52F. In any case, many of these trucks and heavy equipment run long hours or miles, as good as any warm-weather example. I see no evidence there is a detriment to the additional idling.
 
Messages
1,800
Location
Rijeka, EU
Dad told me that years back ( late seventies, early eighties) before Webasto they would idle all night long for heating the sleep cabin. Even today some trucks don't have stand alone air conditioner so on that he would leave truck working for the whole weekend (south of Italy and Spain is terrible during summer).
 
Messages
6,642
Location
South Florida
My daily driver is getting WAY more idle time than I prefer. The parent pick up line at school adds 30-45 minutes of idle time every single day. I changed from dino to synthetic for piece of mind, although I doubt it matters.
 
Messages
5,301
Check fleet operations for police. That's where you'll find passenger car engines idling the most for extended periods. Taxi's I would think would be shutting 'er down more often since the fuel is often on the driver's dime (independent contractors).
 
Messages
426
Location
Dayton,Ohio
My daily driver, a ex police Crown Vic, has 8000 plus idle hours on it PLUS 100,000 miles and it seems no worse for the wear, runs great. Ford Fleet manual says every idle hour is equal to 33 road miles.
 
I have read but not confirmed that in Direct Injected Engines idling for "excessive" periods of time may contribute to quicker accumulation of deposits on the intake valves. I just cant pin point where I read that. It makes sense though. Look at a generator for example. They are gas powered, and diesel and they run all day. So if you do this, I would switch to your vehicles "severe" usage service interval for Engine oil. Just my ten cents.. Jeff
 
Messages
7,285
Location
Cajun Country, La.
I have read mixed reviews about excessive idling. Most comparison articles are about taxi cabs in NYC. There are times when I have to take my g/f to her Drs. appts. and we bring her dog. She is a 16 year old Dachshund. Sometimes she starts panting and I have to start the engine and run the a/c. This cycle happens about 3-4 times per visit, each time letting the engine idle for about 10 minutes. I worry about fuel dilution in the oil but, from what I have read it really doesn't do that much damage to the engine. Besides, I used to change my oil every 3K miles, and now every 5K miles. This must help/have helped the internal parts of the engine to not form/produce sludge. Also, I use very good quality oil and filters, so this should help as well. When I go to my Drs. appts. we don't bring the dog. My g/f usually just goes into the waiting room. Opinions, facts, cons, about excessive idling? shrug
 
Messages
12,457
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I bought my car to serve me, not for me to serve it. This is Phoenix, the hottest city in the U.S., I've got A/C on all the time. When I'm waiting to go in somewhere I'm not going to punish myself to save pennies and turn the car off. And it's direct injection, sometimes I idle it for nearly an hour a day. I did a used oil analysis, no fuel dilution either.
 
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