Idle waste – why you shouldn’t let your car engine run without driving

29 September 2020

 

It’s a common scene: You pull up at your place, and just before you switch the car off, your neighbour walks by. You wave, she waves. You stop what you’re doing, she stops what she’s doing. You chat at a socially safe distance for a few minutes (or maybe even an hour), and the whole time the car engine is running.

But did you know that every time you let your car idle, you splurge carbon and cash? In a time of economic restraint and ecological strain, that’s an unnecessary waste.
Back in the day, we did it out of necessity – we were taught that older-style engines needed more time to ‘fire up’ and that turning the car on and off took too much fuel and battery power than it was worth.

These days, engines have modernised so switching the car on and off is negligible in terms of energy use and wear and tear. Batteries charge far faster now too, so keeping your car on shouldn’t drain it.

Avoiding unnecessary idling has other huge advantages for your pocket and for the environment. Read on to find out how!

 

Extend your tank’s range

Say you idle for 5 minutes at the start of your journey, 3 minutes at your first stop, then 4 minutes at your second one. Guess how many kilometres you could have driven on that fuel? Twenty-nine kilometres – which might be more than the trip itself was!

 

Put moolah in your moon bag

If you add up the kilometres spent idling over your average number of trips a year, you’ll start to see that avoiding the idle vibes can save you a whole lot of hard cash.

 

Cleaner air to breathe

Idling releases exhaust fumes which make the air dirty and unhealthy to breathe. In many urban centres, air quality is an ongoing issue.

In some cities, where air pollution is a problem or environmental policy is evolved, it can be illegal to idle more than a set time. Did you know that New York City’s anti-idling laws forbid any motor vehicle from idling for more than 3 minutes, or 1 minute outside a school? They even have an anti-idling hotline where witnesses can anonymously report an idling vehicle!

Take a breath because polluted air is not only unpleasant, it can cause headaches, exacerbate asthma and allergies, and result in lung and respiratory issues.

 

Limit your negative contribution to our planet

You might think that if the car’s not moving, it’s not hurting the environment as much. The sobering truth is that an idling vehicle release as many harmful carbon emissions as a moving car does. These gasses trap heat and are responsible for soaring temperatures and permanent climate change, which increases wildfires and droughts.
It’s amazing to think you could limit your negative impact by simply switching the engine off.

Warning: we’re not suggesting you switch the car off at traffic lights, stop signs etc. In these instances, being able to drive is essential to safety.

Don’t idle, be proactive – get a quick car insurance quote online today!

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