Personal Vehicles

You've probably heard that idling is a good way to warm up your engine. Or maybe that restarting your car uses more gas than idling. BUT- 

Modern engines never "need" to idle.


Check out the myths and facts of idling below or click here for more clean air tips.

Myth: Idling is good for your engine.

Fact: Too much idling can actually damage your vehicle. Engines don’t operate at peak temperature when they’re idling, so fuel is only partially burned. This leads to fuel residue buildup, which hurts engine parts and reduces gas mileage.


Myth: Restarting your car uses more fuel than letting it idle.

Fact: Engines don’t work efficiently when they’re idling. Experts say that after idling more than 10 seconds, cars waste fuel. Shutting off your engine saves money.

Myth: Letting a car idle on a cold day is a good way to warm it up.
Fact: The best way to warm up a vehicle is to drive it. Even modern diesel engines don’t need more than a few minutes to warm up in cold weather.

Myth: Idling doesn’t waste much fuel.
Fact: Idling for an hour can waste half a gallon or more of fuel. 

Wouldn’t you rather use that gas to get somewhere?

Myth: Restarting is hard on your engine.
Fact: Restarting your engine puts no more stress on it than any other normal use. But idling forces it to run inefficiently, reducing engine performance and fuel efficiency over time.

Air pollution from vehicle exhaust has many negative health effects. Reducing how much you idle is one easy way to help our community improve our air quality and health.