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The Facts About Idling

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  • Idling your car for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting it.
  • It is more fuel efficient to turn off your car engine when you are stopped for more than 10 seconds, except in traffic.
  • The average american car idles an estimated 5 to 10 minutes per day. A car idling for 10 minutes uses as much fuel as it takes to travel 5 miles, and uses more than 27 gallons of fuel a year.
  • Studies have shown that restarting your car many times has little impact on engine components, like the battery and starter motor.
  • An idling engine is not operating at its peak temperature, which means that fuel does not undergo complete combustion. Idling can leave fuel residue on the spark plugs and increase fuel consumption by up to 5 percent, and water condensation in the exhaust system can reduce the life of exhaust components.

Idling is an enormous waste of energy and money because it burns fuel, but
doesn’t get you anywhere!!


  • Turn off your engine when you are waiting for longer than 10 seconds.
  • Reduce car warm-up idling to 30 seconds, even in the cold weather. Driving is the best way to warm up your car.
  • Plan on your car being cold in cold weather. Dress in several warm layers.
  • Take public transportation, walk, jog, or ride a bike instead of driving.
  • Avoid using a remote starter.
  • Avoid “drive thrus” if possible. Turning off your car engine and walking into the business will save on fuel.
  • Keep your car well maintained to increase gas mileage.
  • If you must idle, put your car in neutral. Make sure you continue to keep your foot on the brake.
  • Pass on these facts about idling!

Join the Village of Elk Grove in reducing the amount of wasted fuel costs. 

It’s the smart thing to do, for your Village, for your environment, and most of all for you!!