How does idling affect your car?
Published: Aug. 22, 2016 at 2:18 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2016 at 2:22 PM EDT
Now that school is back in session, you may find yourself waiting in the drop-off or pick-up lane for several minutes. However, you may have been told that it’s bad to leave your car idling. In fact, you could have been told the opposite, and that leaving your car idling has no effect. Our Charlotte auto service center is here to clear up the myths and rumors about car idling!
First things first, car idling isn’t necessarily harmful to your vehicle, but it does have effects. According to the experts at our Toyota Service Center in Charlotte, leaving your car idling:
- Wastes gas. Leaving your engine running consumes gasoline. As a matter of fact, allowing your car to idle for two minutes is equivalent of driving a mile. You can waste almost a gallon of gas if you leave your car idling for more than an hour.
- Burns up oil. Longer time leaving your engine running causes more motor oil to be circulated and burned up. This will cost you more money due to more frequent oil changes.
- Is bad for the environment. Your exhaust system produces emissions into the air and contributes to air pollution. Sitting in one spot for a long period of time pollutes air.
- Decreases performance. Over time, idling can cause your head gasket, spark plugs, or cylinder rings to deteriorate and stop working.
- Drains car battery. Idling does not allow your battery to charge and causes it to strain.
One of the most important effects of idling to keep in mind is carbon monoxide poisoning. Do not leave your car idling in a confined space, as it could be toxic to you and your passengers. If you must leave your car idling, ensure that you’re in an open and well-ventilated area.
If you want to reduce fuel consumption and emission production due to idling, our auto service center in Charlotte has alternatives:
- Roll down the window or go inside if waiting. Are you waiting to pick your kid up or going through the drive-thru? Instead of waiting in your car, turn it off and head inside! If you can’t go inside, roll down your window and enjoy the breeze!
- Turn off the car if stuck in traffic. If you’ve been waiting in bumper-to-bumper traffic at a dead stop because of an accident, it’s safe to say you’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Turn your car off and save some gas while sitting in congestion.
- Upgrade to a hybrid. Avoid idling all together with a hybrid car! When you come to stop, the gasoline engine shuts off and power switches to the electric motor. This electric motor helps reduce fuel consumption and emission production.
If you’re unsure of how idling has affected your car, bring it into our Charlotte Toyota Service Center! Our Toyota-trained techs can inspect your car for any problems.
To schedule an appointment at our auto service center, give us a call at (888) 378-1214!