To Idle or Not to Idle? What do the Experts Say?


Running into your house real quick? Doing a quick errand that will only take a few minutes? Why not just park your car and leave your engine running? Known as idling, what do the experts say about whether to idle or not to idle? Idling your car creates pollution and is not necessary. Idling your car for just ten seconds wastes more gas than shutting off your car and restarting your engine.


To idle or not to idle so that my car can warm up? One of the major misconceptions about your engine is that it needs a warm up. Today’s cars and engines do not need any sort of “warm up”, even in winter months. The best way to “warm up” your car and engine is to ease into your driving. Rather than revving your engine and picking up speed right away, ease into your driving, and within a few seconds, your engine will be warmed and ready to go. Your engine warms up twice as quickly when driving than sitting and idling.


Okay, so your car’s engine doesn’t need to be warmed up, but what about the interior of your car? To idle or not to idle so my seats and interior can become warm? Idling your car so that you can warm up the interior increases pollution and dirty exhaust. Similar to your car’s engine, the best way to warm up the interior of your car is to drive it. If it is crucial that you warm you your interior prior to driving, then it is best to wait inside your house or building until your car is warmed, rather than sitting inside the idling car. However, don’t idle for too long, as idling can actually increase the overall wear and tear of your engine since it is operating longer than necessary.

Category: Tips