Idling is running the engine of a vehicle while it is not going anywhere. Unnecessary vehicle idling isn’t good for our air, wallets, or cars. So what can we do about it?
1. Turn off your ignition if you're waiting more than 30 seconds.
2. Stop idling while the train is passing.
3. Stop idling at school drop-off zones.
4. Park and go inside instead of using the drive-thru lane.
5. Warm up your engine by driving slowly, not by idling.
6. Learn more from our informative video, produced in cooperation with the Poudre School District.
Just one minute of idling puts more carbon monoxide into the air than smoking 3 packs of cigarettes. Idling fumes are linked to asthma, decreased lung function, cardiac disease, cancer and other serious health problems, and according to the EPA, diesel exhaust contains both very small particles and 40 chemicals that are classified as “hazardous air pollutants” under the Clean Air Act. Plus, most people don’t realize that exposure to many air pollutants is much higher inside their cars than along the roadside. Inside a vehicle, the carbon monoxide levels can reach up to 7 times the outside air level, according to the International Center for Technology Assessment.
The average driver wastes 1 to 2 tanks of gas each year from idling. Not only is it a waste of money, it’s hard on your vehicle. Idling can lead to expensive repairs. For example, it can cause oil contamination due to residue build-up on the cylinders; Corrosion caused by excessive condensation collected in the exhaust system; And, decreased peak engine operating temperature due to spark plug residue.
Did you know? Only five minutes of idling each day emits 25 pounds of air pollution and 260 pounds of carbon dioxide each year, contributing to global warming.