Almost every driver is guilty of idling their car, some more often than others. Whether you leave your engine running while waiting for your kids at the school parking lot or you use the old ritual of “warming up” your cold engine every morning before you set off to work, idling is dangerous for your health, car and environment.
In the UAE, engine idling is quite popular as many drivers battle stifling heat by leaving their engines and air conditioning systems running. While it might not be possible to avoid idling as you wait at a traffic signal or when you are stuck in a slow traffic jam, wecashanycar explains why you ought to avoid needless idling and offers tips to help you avoid this detrimental habit.
Why should you turn off your idling engine?
- Harms your health
A study conducted by the Environmental Defense Fund reveals that idling vehicles negatively impact health because they produce tons of carbon monoxide and smog-forming nitrogen oxides, amongst other pollutants. Toxins and pollutants released into the air are responsible for various respiratory diseases including but not limited to cancer, asthma, impaired lung development, bronchitis, prenatal complications and low IQ levels. These health risks are very serious and affect children so much so that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warned people against idling at drive-throughs as this reduces the air quality.
2. Increases your fuel expenses
Engine idling raises your fuel consumption. When you leave your engine idling for an hour, you burn around 0.11 of a gallon. This fuel consumption is much higher for idling diesel trucks which can burn nearly a whole gallon of fuel in an hour. Given the rising fuel costs in the UAE, we all want to save on fuel and idling our engines is working against us. Slate estimates that if you restart your car four times daily you can avoid idling for 10 minutes and consequently save 8.9 gallons of fuel in a year. If that is not motivation enough, just picture the fact that leaving your engine idling for 10 minutes is similar to driving for 1.6km without getting anywhere.
3. Pollutes the environment
It is obvious that engine idling leads to environmental pollution, but do you know how extensive this single act degrades the environment? According to Eco Watch, when a driver reduces engine idling by 10 minutes, they reduce the emission of one pound of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere hence substantially reducing their carbon footprint.
How to avoid engine idling
- Follow the 10 second rule. Even though most people believe that restarting their engines wastes more fuel, today’s vehicles have been modified to regulate fuel injection. This is why environmental experts recommend that you turn off the ignition and restart your vehicle if you intend to idle for 10 seconds.
- Drive your car to warm it up. Idling has been used in many homes as a means of warming up the engine yet this tends to emit the highest amount of carbon emissions. In fact, research shows that driving your car around will warm up your engine faster than idling can. In addition to this, driving around with your AC on can help to warm your interior without inhaling harmful gases. In contrast, drivers who warm up the interior by engine idling end up inhaling dangerous carbon monoxide that leaks through exhaust. The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department in charge of Forensic Medicine warned motorists of sleeping in their cars while running their engines, citing that carbon monoxide leaking from the exhaust could pose major health hazards, including death.
- Protect your engine by avoiding idling. Unlike in the olden days, stopping and restarting your engine is less harmful to your engine and battery than engine idling. On the contrary, engine idling will increase the wear and tear of your engine more in comparison to stopping and restarting your car.
Ultimately , engine idling has been termed the devil’s workshop as it ends up destroying your car, health and the environment while increasing your fuel expenses. Play your part by avoiding this bad driving habit. Should you want to go further and reduce your carbon footprint by trading in your fuel guzzler for a more fuel efficient used car, wecashanycar is the best place to sell your car for cash in the UAE.