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Don’t be an idler

Idling is when a driver leaves the engine running and the vehicle parked.

You may not be able to avoid keeping your engine running when you’re stopped at a traffic signal or stuck in slow-moving traffic. But other times idling is unnecessary.

An idling car can release as much pollution as a moving car.

Here are two simple tips on being idle free.

  • Turn off your ignition if you’re waiting more than 10 seconds.

Restarting your car does not burn more fuel than leaving it idling. In fact, idling for just 10 seconds wastes more gas than restarting the engine.

  • Warm up your engine by driving it, not by idling.

The best way to warm the engine is by easing into your drive and avoiding excessive engine revving. After just a few seconds, your vehicle is safe to drive as the vehicle’s engine warms twice as quickly when driven.


Those two simple tips can yield big results.

Every time you turn off your car engine instead of idling, you will:

  • Help the environment. For every 10 minutes your engine is off, you’ll prevent one pound of carbon dioxide from being released (carbon dioxide is the primary contributor to global warming).
  • Keep money in your wallet and save fuel. Save between 1/5 to 7/10 of a gallon of fuel for every hour of not idling.
  • First, idling pollutes the air and harms health. Idling tailpipes spew out the same pollutants that form unhealthy smog and soot as those from moving cars. Nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds are the main health-harming pollutants in vehicle emissions. Diesel engines emit more than 40 hazardous air pollutants.
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