advertisement
16 February 2012

Idle cars are poor performers

Idling a car’s engine is polluting and inefficient. Running a car in place = zero km per litre of petrol.

0

Idling a car’s engine is polluting and inefficient. Running a car in place = zero km per litre of petrol.

For most conventional vehicles (i.e. not hybrids), idling longer than about 30 seconds (or even less – many experts cite 10 seconds) uses more fuel and thus produces more emissions than restarting. 

It’s not practical to be turning your engine on and off all the time in traffic, but there are plenty of other situations where unnecessary idling happens e.g. waiting to pick up passengers, at fast-food drive-throughs, and talking on your cell phone*. 

Modern engines also only need a few seconds to warm up, certainly not more than 30; “warming up” the engine for minutes at a time is an outdated throwback to earlier automotive times. 

Frequent restarting does not do significant damage to vehicle mechanics; excessive idling, on the other hand, can eventually lower engine performance.

- Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor, Health24, September 2011

*There are other good health and safety reasons to shun drive-throughs and phoning while driving, of course...

More EnviroHealth Tips

 
advertisement

Get a quote

advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Live healthier

Marriage matters »

Why marriages fail Divorce harder for kids from wealthy homes Why a curvaceous booty drives men wild

"Should we get divorced?"

After six years of marriage the spark is gone and this couple can't even have a conversation.

Do you have a sweet tooth? »

What’s SA’s most sugary drink? Craving sugar? Blame your brain WHO says we're eating too much sugar

10 foods with hidden sugar

Even if you don't have a sweet tooth, you might still be eating far more sugar than you think.