Monday, September 1, 2008

Turn off the engine

Today I was at the bank ... the drive-thru window to be precise. The tellers were busier than usual and my transaction was taking awhile. I noticed that there were three other cars in line ... all with their engines idling.

At fast food drive-thru windows, it's the same thing ... orders take awhile to fill and while waiting, the line-up of cars idle away.

And what about when we get into our vehicles ... most of us start the car, then get settled. We adjust the mirror, put on the seat belt, check the cell phone ... all while our car idles ... and pollutes.

So here's an easy idea ... turn off the engine. When you're waiting for the teller at the bank or your food from a drive-thru, turn off the engine. When you get into your car, make all your adjustments first, then start the car. By the way ... at this time of year, there really isn't a reason to let your car warm up before driving away.

Pay attention to all the times that a car is idling without moving and see if the engine can be turned off at those times. Every little bit will help!

As always, I'd love to hear from you.


  1. I have hear that the simple process of "starting one's vehicle" uses as much gas as letting it idle for thirty mintues! Ever ran across this? Is it a matter of petro vs. pollution?

  2. Excellent question, Glenda.

    I did a little further research on the subject and found that it is better to turn off the engine rather than idle ... unless one has a really, really old car. Here's why ... carburetors today are extremely fuel efficient, only injecting a small amount of fuel into the engine to get it started. In fact, the only time it's more fuel efficient to let a car idle is if one will be idling for less than 10 seconds. Yep ... anything over 10 seconds .. turn it off. One note ... it's not a good idea to turn off one's engine at a street light. In fact, in some US states it's illegal. Here are some sites to visit if you'd like more information:

    Thanks for your comment!

    Small Footprints

  3. I have a car (Honda) that is 28 years old, and I can still drive without having to warm it up beforehand. I just drive it softly first, and by the time I reach the first junction from my house, the car is running smoothly. I just wonder if the price of petrol goes up higher again, would drivers be so willing to burn up unnecessary fuel. But personally, I feel it is not a matter of whether one can afford the money for petrol but a matter of unnecessary wastage and our precious environment.