General Idling Information

Idling your engine harms your health, wastes money and fuel, and increases wear and tear on your engine

What is Idling?

An idling vehicle is one whose engine is running when it is parked or not in motion. Common places to idle include schools, banks, and drive-throughs.

How Long Should I Wait Before Turning Off My Engine?

If you are going to be parked for more than 10 seconds, you should turn off your engine.

Why Does It Matter If I Turn Off My Engine?

Protect Your Health

When your vehicle is idling, it's emitting nitrous oxides and volatile organic compounds. When these molecules react with sunlight and oxygen they form ozone. Breathing high levels of ozone causes wheezing and coughing, asthma attacks, increased susceptibility to respiratory infection. Exposure to ozone over a long period of time can make your allergies worse, decrease lung function, and increase the risk of heart attacks.  (American Lung Association)

Gas Cap with Money

Save Money and Fuel

A study conducted in New York City found that on average idling cars waste about 22 gallons of gasoline per year, while idling trucks waste about 196 gallons per year. ("Idling Gets You Nowhere" Environmental Defense Fund Feb 2009)

Car Exhaust

Reduce Wear and Tear on Your Engine

When a vehicle is idling, fuel is only partially combusted, because the engine is not operating at its peak temperature. This leads to the build up of fuel residues on cylinder walls that can increase fuel consumption and damage engine components, including cylinders, spark plugs, and exhaust systems. (Consumer Energy Center)