Don't Stay Idle
Facts About Idling Your Car
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Have you ever left your vehicle idling for more than 10 seconds while waiting to pick up your child at school or while at the drive-up window at the bank? Most of us have. Here are some very good reasons to rethink this common habit.
- Vehicle exhaust is one of the leading sources of toxic air pollution in Utah.
- While sitting in an idling vehicle, drivers are exposed to higher levels of vehicle pollution than when the vehicle is in motion because exhaust enters the cabin.
- About 50% of toxic air pollutants in Utah come from vehicle exhaust.
- The combustion of fossil fuels releases sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and other toxins contributing to the formation of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
- Carbon dioxide contributes to global warming.
- Vehicle exhaust is hazardous to human health, especially children's.
- Children's Studies have linked pollution asthma symptoms from vehicles to increased rates increase as a of cancer, heart and lung disease, and asthma as a result of exhaust.
- Exposure to most vehicle exhaust is much higher inside vehicles than at the roadside.
- Children, whose lungs are still developing, breathe more rapidly and inhale more pollutants per pound of body weight than adults.
- Asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalization for children under the age of 15.
- Vehicle idling is expensive and hard on your engine.
- Turning off an engine rather than idling more than 10 seconds improves air quality and saves fuel too.
- More than 10 seconds of idling consumes more fuel than restarting your engine.
- 1 hour of idling burns about 1 gallon of gasoline and gets 0 miles per gallon.
- An idling engine isn't working at ideal operating temperature (since your vehicle is not moving when idling), and fuel doesn't undergo complete combustion.
- This can decrease the life of your engine components, including cylinders, spark plugs, and exhaust systems.
- Frequent restarting of a vehicle has little impact on engine components such as the battery and starter motor.
Here's What You Can Do:
- Turn it off after 10 seconds - If you are going to be stopped for more than 10 seconds (except in traffic), turn off your engine.
- Reduce warm-up idling - Today's modern engine needs no more than 30 seconds of idling on winter days before driving. Driving is the best way to warm it up.
- Spread the word - Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors about the benefits of reduced idling. Encourage them to join you in protecting the environment, contributing to a healthier community, and saving money.