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If idle is to be avoided? #5248024 10/23/19 12:01 PM
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Rglossip Offline OP
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If idle is to be avoided what is high idle rpm range?

Re: If idle is to be avoided? [Re: Rglossip] #5248030 10/23/19 12:05 PM
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It depends on the engine. Modern fuel injected engines gas do not load up like they used to. Diesels should avoid idling for long times it can load up the particulate filter and it may not regenerate..

Re: If idle is to be avoided? [Re: Rglossip] #5248048 10/23/19 12:21 PM
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Idle is fine, extended idleing like in Taxi's and cop cars is a problem mostly in hot climates due to plastics being used for intakes and valve covers and much of the cooling system on modern vehicles, it being less forgiving of heat cycles. Cars doing so need upgraded oil pumps and typically an external cooler to avoid oil starvation of the cam and crank journals causing the eventual and more memorable throwing of the rods as well as a low temp thermostat.

Re: If idle is to be avoided? [Re: Rglossip] #5248049 10/23/19 12:22 PM
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Since you're asking in the HDEO forum, I'll assume you're asking about idling a diesel.

I can only offer opinions on low idle on a big rig, which is what I used to operate. Generally, we consider "low idle" to mean normal idle speed and "high idle" is a pre-set value that's usually 200 rpms or so more.

The primary purpose of high idling instead of normal idling is that it keeps the engine temps up (all fluids) when the outside temps get real low in winter, while at the same time keeping the oil pressure up which is critical.

Yes, it burns a bit more fuel but it potentially saves you from possible icing situations, particularly fuel. It also keeps the fuel rail pressure more consistent and battery charging system at peak capacity.

Do you need to do this on a small, passenger diesel? No. Just get in, start it up, drive away leisurely and let the car warm up that way. But if you're going to be idling at a rest area while napping a few hours in the bitter cold (and I mean well below sub-freezing temps), then a high idle is beneficial to have. I think several diesel-equipped pick-em-up trucks have a high idle pre-set you can use, it achieves some of the reasons listed above.


2014 MB GLK250 BT // 106,xxx miles // 34 MPG // LM TopTec 4605 5w30
2014 VW Jetta TDI // 40,xxx miles // 38 MPG // LM Longlife III 5w30
Re: If idle is to be avoided? [Re: Rglossip] #5248066 10/23/19 12:39 PM
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I never saw much issue with idling my ISB6.7 in the cold. I rarely used the high idle feature because the engine idled up when it wanted to. I did use the exhaust brake to speed warm up.

This last 24,000km index saw 100 idle hours, which was up from about 60 hours in the previous 24k index. My wife daily drove the truck all winter and it probably had 20+ minutes a day of idle. February never saw warmer than -20C, so it had plenty of cold starts.

What I found was fuel dilution was not an issue. In fact it was not reportable, which was down from 2.87% on the previous index. I cannot give much info about wear metals as I have only 2 tests on a relatively fresh engine. It does look like numbers are dropping but more tests are needed.

While some would say my idling is excessive, I think its nothing. I can idle my work truck all shift and do this often, although its a gasser.


2006 Trailblazer LT. QSUD, Fram Ultra.
2017 Ram 3500 SLT Megacab. Duron SHP 10w30, Baldwin BT7349.
1993 GMC 1500. QSAD, Fram PH5
Re: If idle is to be avoided? [Re: Rglossip] #5249967 10/25/19 03:43 PM
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I have idled my '01 Ram overnight on a few occasions when the temperature was predicted to drop below -15F. The engine burns about 5 gallons during 10 hours of idling.
Oil analysis reports have not shown serious fuel dilution problems.


2008 Dodge Ram 3500 diesel/G56
1985 Z51 Corvette track car 355/6-speed
2002 Camaro Z28 LS1/6-speed
2001 Dodge Ram 2500 diesel/NV4500+GV
1972 GMC 1500 shortbed project truck 307/SM465
Re: If idle is to be avoided? [Re: A_Harman] #5250993 10/27/19 05:44 AM
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I assume that in diesal engines a good run down the highway would evaporate the fuel from the oil.Maybe take more time than a gas engine because gas is more volatile.Is that a fast idle or regular idle?

Re: If idle is to be avoided? [Re: Rglossip] #5252952 10/29/19 10:28 AM
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At least w/ the Ford 6.0l - regular idle is around 690 rpm. High idle is 1200 rpm.


2006 F250 6.0L PSD CC SB FX4
Re: If idle is to be avoided? [Re: Rglossip] #5253597 10/29/19 08:05 PM
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It seems that the prevailing wisdom is that no-load idling on a diesel is far worse than idling with a low load. Because of ring sealing, operating at temperature, and vibrations. High no-load idle might even be worse than no-load idle as a diesel takes in and has to 'heat' twice the air, and less engine output proportionally is used to drive things like the alternator and other accessories.


Change your thinking...not your oil!
Turn your mind....not your rotors!
Re: If idle is to be avoided? [Re: A_Harman] #5267684 11/14/19 10:53 PM
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SteveG4 Offline
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Originally Posted by A_Harman
I have idled my '01 Ram overnight on a few occasions when the temperature was predicted to drop below -15F. The engine burns about 5 gallons during 10 hours of idling.
Oil analysis reports have not shown serious fuel dilution problems.

Fifteen and 20 years ago while working on the North Slope of Alaska, I used to idle my Alyeska Pipeline Service Company assigned PU trucks and diesels of all shapes and sizes for DAYS and DAYS on end -- when it was -30 deg to -35 deg F or colder. I've personally seen -65 deg F cold, unreal blizzards where couldn't see past your hood, and gusting to between Cat 4 and Cat 5 hurricane-force winter wind storms that few in the Lower-48 would believe.

All workers would fill up their trucks 2 to 3 times daily, and return them to the vehicle "bull rails" so we could plug them in. All of these vehicles were outfitted for "Slope" duty, which included all synthetic fluids and greases, block, battery and oil pan heaters, metal covers for brake lines and such (gravel roads), an arctic-grade grille cover, a supplemental cab heater, and specially-siped Bridgestone tires. Oil changes were scheduled for every 4 to 6 weeks, or every 2nd or 3rd two-week hitch. All trucks were installed with an LMR radio and a CB.

It was a heck of a ride the 2-1/2 years I worked up at the Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk fields and along the northern 1/3 of the trans-Alaska pipeline system (TAPS). I have 25,000 miles on the Dalton Hwy, otherwise known as the Haul Road. Know that road infinitely better than any of those Ice Road Trucker dudes... I maintained the fiber-optic telecommunications network that carried the SCADA system controlling the pipeline back in the day.

In one or two cases, how a survived two crazy storms was either Providence or sheer dumb luck.

Last edited by SteveG4; 11/14/19 11:10 PM.

Somewhere between Alaska and Wisconsin...
2006 Silverado LT Crew Cab 4WD & 2013 Equinox AWD
Re: If idle is to be avoided? [Re: Rglossip] #5269044 11/16/19 10:16 AM
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Yeah, similar when I lived in the Fairbanks area from 82-92. But none of the diesels were the new emissions equipped diesels now. I haven't looked into it, but it would be interesting to learn how the new emissions diesels are used in those conditions.


Freedom is not about having the choice to do what you want, but the choice to do what you ought.
Re: If idle is to be avoided? [Re: Rglossip] #5269511 11/16/19 09:32 PM
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In the effort to reduce idling I'm installing a Webasto diesel heater, no idling required.:)


2009 Ford F-350 (Detroit 4-53T)
2000 Ford Excursion (Triton V10)
1993 Dodge D250 (Cummins 6BT)
Re: If idle is to be avoided? [Re: Rglossip] #5269513 11/16/19 09:33 PM
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In the effort to reduce idling I'm installing a Webasto diesel heater, no idling required.:)


2009 Ford F-350 (Detroit 4-53T)
2000 Ford Excursion (Triton V10)
1993 Dodge D250 (Cummins 6BT)
Re: If idle is to be avoided? [Re: SteveG4] #5274955 11/22/19 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveG4
Originally Posted by A_Harman
I have idled my '01 Ram overnight on a few occasions when the temperature was predicted to drop below -15F. The engine burns about 5 gallons during 10 hours of idling.
Oil analysis reports have not shown serious fuel dilution problems.

Fifteen and 20 years ago while working on the North Slope of Alaska, I used to idle my Alyeska Pipeline Service Company assigned PU trucks and diesels of all shapes and sizes for DAYS and DAYS on end -- when it was -30 deg to -35 deg F or colder. I've personally seen -65 deg F cold, unreal blizzards where couldn't see past your hood, and gusting to between Cat 4 and Cat 5 hurricane-force winter wind storms that few in the Lower-48 would believe.

All workers would fill up their trucks 2 to 3 times daily, and return them to the vehicle "bull rails" so we could plug them in. All of these vehicles were outfitted for "Slope" duty, which included all synthetic fluids and greases, block, battery and oil pan heaters, metal covers for brake lines and such (gravel roads), an arctic-grade grille cover, a supplemental cab heater, and specially-siped Bridgestone tires. Oil changes were scheduled for every 4 to 6 weeks, or every 2nd or 3rd two-week hitch. All trucks were installed with an LMR radio and a CB.

It was a heck of a ride the 2-1/2 years I worked up at the Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk fields and along the northern 1/3 of the trans-Alaska pipeline system (TAPS). I have 25,000 miles on the Dalton Hwy, otherwise known as the Haul Road. Know that road infinitely better than any of those Ice Road Trucker dudes... I maintained the fiber-optic telecommunications network that carried the SCADA system controlling the pipeline back in the day.

In one or two cases, how a survived two crazy storms was either Providence or sheer dumb luck.


That's some great history. Hopefully you earned BIG money in your years on the Haul Road.


2008 Dodge Ram 3500 diesel/G56
1985 Z51 Corvette track car 355/6-speed
2002 Camaro Z28 LS1/6-speed
2001 Dodge Ram 2500 diesel/NV4500+GV
1972 GMC 1500 shortbed project truck 307/SM465
Re: If idle is to be avoided? [Re: Rglossip] #5278409 11/26/19 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Rglossip
If idle is to be avoided what is high idle rpm range?

My Ram kicks up to ~900 RPM on its own when idling in the cold, manual high idle is 1-1.5k in increments. I usually just leave it 1k, while others I know just rely on the computer. With oil @ >190F, I just leave it be.

This might help understand the volatility of diesel fuel and if burning it off is a "thing" in an engine.
[Linked Image from researchgate.net]

Last edited by Dyusik; 11/26/19 09:41 PM. Reason: Table

95 Cherokee 190K DELO XLE 10W30, XG8
04 YZF-R1 20K Frankenbrew 20w50ish, XG7317
14 RX450h 49k STP SYNHM 10w30, WIX 57047
18 RAM 3500 8k DELO SDE15w40, DBL7349
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