Have you ever heard that the act of shutting off and restarting your car causes damage to your engine, or that it uses more gas than if you'd just left it running? The California Energy Commission has busted this anti-idling myth with the following facts:
- For every two minutes your car is idling, it uses the same amount of gas it takes to drive about one mile.
- Frequent restarting has minimal impact on engine components, and is estimated to add about $10 per year to the cost of driving. This money will likely be recovered several times over in the gas you can save by idling less.
- Excessive idling can actually damage your engine's cylinders, spark plugs, and exhaust system.
What's the bottom line? Reducing idling will not only save you some gas money, but also protects the environment by reducing air pollution. Your best bet is to shut off your engine if you are going to be waiting in your car for more than 30 seconds to make the most of your fuel economy.
Even better? Instead of using drive-throughs for restaurants and banks, try parking your car and walking in to save even more!
Read the full article at the California Energy Commission's website, www.consumerenergycenter.org.