Did you know that idling your car for two minutes uses the same amount of gas used to drive about one mile? Cars with larger engines typically waste more gas idling that cars with smaller engines. An idling car also emits air pollutants. During the summer months, ground-level ozone pollution is created when these pollutants mix with heat and sunlight.
Viewer Tip: With modern fuel-injection engines, turning off the engine while sitting is more efficient than letting the engine run. Shutting off the engine in traffic or in situations where you might need to move suddenly is not recommended, but here are a few times you can cut the engine:
- Instead of going through the drive-through at fast food restaurants or banks, park your car and walk inside.
- Turn off the engine while waiting to pick up kids from school or other activities.
- Is your destination within walking or biking distance? Consider leaving your car at home and heading out on foot!
(Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov; Fueleconomy.gov, “Driving more efficiently,” “Avoid Car Idling,” http://www.greenyour.com/transportation/car/car-driving/tips/avoid-car-idling)