Stop Idling That Car!
It’s true. Auto experts, including ones at the U.S. Environmental Protection and Department of Energy, recommend you should stop idling for more than 30 seconds, even in freezing weather. Instead, drive your car and you can warm up the engine twice as fast.
We know this sounds contrary to popular belief. But cars have advanced a lot during the past three decades. We assume you no longer drive that 1970s Chrysler Plymouth when carbureted engines ruled the roads. Those DO need to run to reach the right mixture of gasoline and air to prevent them from stalling.
Modern vehicles today rely on electronic fuel injection sensors to pump exactly the right amount of gas into the engine. Idling your car a long time actually strips lubricating oil away from the engine’s cylinders and pistons. This can significantly shorten their life and waste fuel.
Simply driving your car nice and easy heats the engine to 40 degrees in about five to 15 minutes and helps it reach the proper gasoline to air ratio.
Advantages to Going Idle-free
A variety of benefits exist if you stop idling and just turn your vehicle’s ignition off:
For one, automotive engineers estimate fuel efficiency increases by shutting off your car rather than idling for more than 10 seconds. However, the general consensus is idling two to three minutes remains fine but you should stop idling after 10 minutes to avoid causing any car troubles.
Shutting off and restarting your car will not lead to any engine damage. So, go ahead and stop idling when you have to wait, for example, for a train at a rail-road crossing, a line at a fast food drive thru or a long wait at an intersection.
Batteries nowadays use less power to start up the engine, contain greater power reserves and recharge faster. Additionally, modern electronic ignition systems have become stronger and more reliable. In fact, auto experts estimate the added wear and tear on the engine from turning on and off your car amounts to no more than $10 a year. Compare that to the $70-$650 a year in wasted fuel, depending on gas prices, idling habits and the vehicle.
Sitting in an idling car means breathing in air that can harm your health. Idling cars spew out pollutants in the exhaust that scientists have linked to lung, respiratory, asthma and allergy problems. More serious illnesses include heart disease, chronic bronchitis and even cancer.
Finally, it’s no secret that carbon dioxide emissions affect our environment by contributing to global warming and other problems. Idling vehicles produce up to 10-12 percent more in emissions than driving for the same amount of time.
An Environmental Defense Fund study revealed in New York City that idling automobiles emitted 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually. To offset that pollution, the EDF said trees would need to be planted in an area the size of Manhattan every year.
Bring Your Car to DeBroux Automotive for Emissions Repair!
If you find your car shakes while idling, bring it to our trustworthy and certified automotive technicians at DeBroux. We can repair your exhaust system by conducting a fuel-air induction clean-up that corrects your car’s fuel to air balance and eliminates harmful deposits on the engine. Call us today for this and any other car repair needs to get your car running smoothly again!