Idle Time

     Winter is almost over and I survived without an automatic car starter this year.  The past two winters I have started my car from the comfort of my house so I could get into a warm and cozy car.  This year without the car starter I would make it out to start the car some days but other days I wouldn’t.  I never really thought too much about the time the car was idling because I’ve always been told things like, "It’s better on the engine to just let it idle." or "It doesn’t use enough gas to even worry about it."  When I read Idealbyte’s recent post I had to re-consider my idle time how about you?

The Bite
The sound of an idling car. It may seem like idling uses less gas than turning your car off and on again, but it usually doesn’t, and the pollution idling causes is a lot less entertaining than betting on which Idol winner is gonna get dropped by their record label next.

The Benefits

  • Less air (and ear) pollution. An idling car creates twice the emissions of a car in motion.
  • Saving money. Idling 15 min per weekday can cost you up to $100 in wasted gas over the course of a year.
  • Saving oil. American drivers use more than 2 bil gal of fuel each year while idling.
  • If 10,000 SUV-driving Biters cut out 5 min of daily idling, in a year we’ll curb the CO2 emissions of 75 Americans.


Personally Speaking
School parking lots are notorious for idlers, so most of us probably sucked down a lotta fumes waiting for our parents to pick us up after school, except for Jenifer, who had to walk home…both ways, uphill…in the snow…

Wanna Try?
Turn your car off if you’re gonna stay put for more than 10 seconds, and BTW: Driving warms up your car way faster than idling.

  • EPA – resources for starting an idling-reduction program at your kid’s school district.