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Tags: Global Warming | cars | global warming | idling

Cars and Global Warming: Does Idling Your Car Affect the Environment?

By    |   Sunday, 22 March 2015 08:03 AM

Idling a car occurs when the car is stopped and the engine is still running. This can’t be avoided when drivers are stuck in traffic, but some drivers might keep the motor running when it’s unnecessary. Idling still releases pollutants that can contribute to global warming.

Traffic jams and congestion cause major gas emissions on the nation’s highways and freeways. Idling during stalled traffic could waste some 26 million tons of extra gas emissions a year, according to Global Workplace Analytics. You can’t do much about that when it becomes necessary to drive in traffic, but you can prevent idling your car at other times to help the environment.

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Idling a car when unnecessary not only wastes money, but it also uses up fuel. An idling engine can use up to 7/10 of a gallon of gas an hour. Diesel trucks can use a gallon of fuel an hour when idling. Idling a car for two minutes can use up the same amount of gas as driving for a mile.

Whether you are driving or idling your car, it unleashes pollutants from the exhaust into the air. The gases emitted from an operating car include carbon dioxide, or CO2, a major greenhouse gas involved in climate change. For health concerns, the pollutants released from your car can aggravate existing conditions such as asthma or other lung diseases. The pollutants can also contribute to the cause of these disorders.

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Idling the car for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel and emits more greenhouse-gas emissions than simply restarting your engine. Drivers often think it’s unnecessary to turn off the engine for a short time.

However, when waiting for someone, turn the engine off if the wait is longer than 10 seconds. Restarting the engine will save more fuel and reduce gas emissions. If you know you will be stopped for more than a minute, except when in traffic, turn the engine off and restart it when it comes time to move.

Drive-thru lanes at fast-food restaurants are chief causes of idling cars. If the line looks too long, pull into the parking lot and order from inside instead. The more you can avoid unnecessary idling, the more you can reduce the effects of global warming.

Some people believe they need to warm up the car by letting it idle for a minute or longer. But it is better to start off your car slowly and ease it along without revving the engine. The car is usually safe to drive in a few seconds and it warms twice as fast while it is driven.

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Idling a car occurs when the car is stopped and the engine is still running. This can't be avoided when drivers are stuck in traffic, but idling releases pollutants that can contribute to global warming.
cars, global warming, idling
Sunday, 22 March 2015 08:03 AM
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