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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I need to make a trip where I'll likely be sitting in the Ascent for up to 8-10 hours of idling at a time. The current plan was to just hook up my inverter and use my laptop to keep me busy but I was worried that I may be harming the car by idling like this for this long.

Once I'm done idling I'll be making a 4-hour trip back home so any 'carbon build up' or such should hopefully get cleared with a mix of city and highway driving on the way back. The idling will also be entirely outdoors (in the freezing weather unfortunately. Snow is possible) so I hopefully won't need to worry about any Carbon Monoxide problems although if weather permits I'll be leaving a window cracked or the moonroof open.

Is there anything I need to know about idling for this long? Will it be a problem for the Ascent?

Sadly a hotel is not an option as I need to be waiting at the actual location to diagnose the problem when it occurs and I am not able to really set up a full-blown campsite there either.
 

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The biggie is fuel consumption....
 

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8-10 hours is a LONG time to idle. The engine may not be running at optimal temperature (especially due to the cold), which may cause excessive wear and a buildup of unburnt fuel and carbon (as you mentioned) on the spark plugs and cylinders. If this is a one time thing for you to be doing, it will probably be negligible tho. Maybe put a fuel additive (Seafoam, Techron, Lucas, etc.) in your gas tank on your way home.
As @Jim_in_PA said, fuel use is going to be something to watch out for. I would absolutely bring a gas can with at least enough to get you to the nearest gas station.

How long does your laptop hold a charge, and how long does it take to fully charge? You may be able to run the engine intermittently just to charge the laptop when needed.

Or, are you able to use a small gas generator? The cheapest one I saw at Harbor Freight is $110 and says 2 gallons will run it for 5 hours. It's bound to work AT LEAST once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Luckily I'll be able to stop at a gas station shortly before I start the idling so fuel shouldn't be an issue. I'll be sure to keep an eye on it in addition to bringing a small gas can though as I'm not looking to get stranded either, haha.

My laptop unfortunately is rather old and doesn't hold much of a charge at this point. It essentially needs to be plugged in at all times to remain running for longer than a few minutes. I do have one of the larger heavy-duty jump starters that I may be able to run the laptop off for a bit which I'll have to give that a try this weekend before I head out. I also have a few smaller more portable jump starters but those will be kept for actual jump-starting if I end up needing it.

The small gas generator is a good option as well although I'd have to figure out a way to keep the car relatively warm and the generator far enough away that it's not going to be a safety problem. The price of that Harbor Freight one almost outweighs the cost of an early oil change and any wear and tear which does make it pretty tempting even if it only works once or I only ever have to use it once.

Overall I should only need to do this idling a max of three times this December and then in theory never again 😅 I'm hoping that the Ascent can survive that with minimal wear even though I am asking it to do an excessive amount of idling.

Would it make any sense to occasionally give the car gas while it idles if it temps start to get too low on the various gauges or would that likely not do anything meaningful or perhaps even make things worse?
 

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I have absolutely nothing to add as it relates to your question, but there's sort of an element of "suspension" here and this whole thing sounds like the beginning of an interesting movie/documentary...
 

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The small gas generator is a good option as well although I'd have to figure out a way to keep the car relatively warm and the generator far enough away that it's not going to be a safety problem.
Mount it on a cargo tray maybe? (I don’t know the dimensions or weight of said generator)
 

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Police officers idle their cars for years in all sorts of weather . For a car to not be able to idle 8-10 hours without long term damage would be absurd. You have a warranty also - don’t overthink it
 

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Police officers might idle their cars for long periods of time, but they don’t own them.
Personally I wouldn’t do it. If it’s a decent day the sun will do a lot to keep the car warm and an inverter (these are cheap from autozone or wherever) along with periodic idling if necessary for warmth or charging should do it.
 

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How much power does your laptop draw? Many people I know use an external power brick with the appropriate cable/tip. I use the one in the image (technically, the previous 52,800mah version), which has been working almost flawlessly for me since June 2015 (the only issue is the LCD is becoming harder to read - but that's likely because I barely ever remove it from the car, and it's sat in very hot and very cold conditions since the day I bought it). There's an even newer version (hence this not being for sale any more).

While it's not available any more, they make newer versions with higher power outputs now. We powered a new laptop with it on our last cross country trip, and fully recharged it from dead while it was in use rendering videos.

This was seriously the best portable power buy I've ever made.
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Heck, I do Indie Films in my spare time, and mostly do the lighting and grip work and help the cinematography team (or do the aerial cinematography), and, I power my LED light panels off it for 3/4 of a day at a charge. For instance, all of the pub scenes in this were lit by me using this battery bank powering my LED panels.

Point being, it may be the better way of keeping your laptop charged and running, than burning gas.

Perhaps check Android Authority's list of modern versions of it:
 
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