How much gas does an idling car use?

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LAST UPDATED: March 25, 2020 by Ryan M

The amount of gas an idling car uses varies depending on engine type, size, etc. Transit buses consume the most gas while idling, nearly 1 gallon per hour. A car driving 65 MPH that gets 25 MPG uses about 1.6 gallons of gas per hour. On average, an idling average compact uses around 90% less gas than one that is being driven.

See the table below:

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VEHICLE TYPE FUEL TYPE ENGINE SIZE
(LITER)
APPROXIMATE VEHICLE WEIGHT (LBS) APPROXIMATE IDLING FUEL USAGE
(GAL/HR)
Compact Sedan Gas 2 3,000 0.16
Large Sedan Gas 4.6 4,500 0.39
Compact Sedan Diesel 2 3,000 0.17
Medium Heavy Truck Gas 5-7 23,000 0.84
Delivery Truck Diesel 20,000 0.84
Tow Truck Diesel 25,000 0.59
Medium Heavy Truck Diesel 6-10 28,000 0.44
Transit Bus Diesel 30,000 0.97
Combination Truck Diesel 32,000 0.49
Bucket Truck Diesel 37,000 0.90
Tractor-Semitrailer Diesel 80,000 0.64

INTERESTING FACTS
  1. It takes millions of years for fossil fuels to develop.
  2. The fossil fuels we use today began forming during the Carboniferous Period, which was before dinosaurs ruled the Earth.
  3. Around 90% of our energy comes from fossil fuels.
INTERESTING VIDEO
INTERESTING REFERENCES
  1. U.S. Department of Energy – Fact #861 February 23, 2015, Idle Fuel Consumption for Selected Gasoline and Diesel Vehicles
  2. SoftSchools.com – Fossil Fuel Fun Facts

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