For those of us who can’t afford to buy an electric vehicle at this time, there are other ways we can be eco-friendly while driving. Using your car less and taking a nice walk instead, is definitely a great way to do your part, but there are also some “bad driving habits” that can be modified for good and which greatly contribute to the cause.
Idling, which happens when a vehicle’s engine is running but the car is not moving, is another way we pollute the air. Even if the car is parked, it still emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the principal greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.
Here are some tips on how to break this habit and be idle free!
Idling wastes fuel. Are you waiting for someone? Turn off your engine if you need to wait more than 10 seconds. Many people still believe that restarting your car burns extra fuel, when in fact, idling for more than 10 seconds wastes more fuel than restarting the car. Imagine if you have to wait like 5 or 10 minutes with the car on!
Skip the drive-thru at fast food restaurants if you’re not in a hurry. Instead, park the car and go inside. If you really need to use the drive-thru, turn off the engine while waiting for your order.
Warm up the engine and the inside of your car by driving it, not idling. Start driving slowly and give the car a couple of minutes to warm up. Contrary to popular belief, the engine warms up quicker while being driven. Same thing for the heating system; you will get warm air faster while driving and avoid breathing in the exhaust air that goes inside your car while idling.
On the other hand, cars were made to be driven and not left to idle. Idling hurts your car’s engine, since it leaves fuel residues that damage engine components and could result in costly maintenance and repairs.
So next time you find yourself sitting in your car waiting for someone, or at the car wash or drive through, all you have to do is turn off your engine. This way you are helping to keep our planet and your car healthy as well as keeping more money in your wallet.