Car idling - everyone is guilty of it. In fact, did you know that it can even be considered car idling when you're sitting in traffic or waiting at a red light? By definition, car idling is when you're running your car's engine without actually being in motion. There's a lot of false information out there regarding whether or not this practice is actually bad for your vehicle, and Toyota of Clermont is here to shed some light on the issue!
Is car idling REALLY that bad for your car? Toyota of Clermont has answers.
First, let's address the main issue at hand - is car idling bad for your vehicle? According to our Orlando Toyota service techs, it's not the best for your ride. Here are some reasons why you might want to try and avoid this behavior. We know it's tempting to do it while you wait in a parking lot (especially during our scorching summers), but these reasons might make you rethink things:
It wastes gas, which means it's putting a hole in your bank account. When you idle your ride, you can waste up to 1/5 to 7/10 of a gallon of gas every hour. That adds up over time, especially if you're doing it every day before work or while waiting for your kids in the school pickup lane. In fact, idling for two minutes can use up the same amount of gas as driving one mile. Want better fuel efficiency? Our Orlando auto service techs recommend NOT idling!
It's bad for the environment. Now, if you're driving a Toyota hybrid car, your vehicle will switch over to the electric motor while standing in one spot or driving at low speeds. However, for other gas-driven vehicles, you're still emitting harmful gases that contribute to pollution and smog. If going green is a concern of yours, our Clermont auto service technicians recommend you try to idle your vehicle as little as possible. Also, remember - the more air pollution we have, the worse it is for our own personal health! Smog and pollution contribute to asthma, allergies, cancer, heart disease, and lung disease. Do yourself and your neighbors a favor and shut off your engine!
It can mess with your car's performance over time. Not only does it reduce fuel efficiency, it can impact how well your engine functions in the future! No one likes shelling out for expensive Orlando auto repairs, so why risk adding more stress to the engine's functionality? Car idling can wear out your spark plugs, cylinders, and exhaust system by only partially combusting the fuel that you're using. However, turning your car off and restarting it won't wear out your battery or starter. Take care of your vehicle with our Clermont Toyota service tips!
It can cost you more money than you may realize. If you idle your ride, you're not only using more gas, you're also using more oil. Consistent idling may mean you need more frequent Orlando oil changes, which can quickly raise your car maintenance costs.
If can be dangerous if you're in an enclosed space. According to the Toyota of Clermont service center, your car releases gases like carbon monoxide while idling that can be toxic to you and your passengers if you're sitting in a garage, or even if you're in the house where the garage is attached. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal to humans and animals!
In some parts of the country, car idling is actually illegal. You may be penalized or fined for leaving your car running. Why take the chance of a heavy ticket?
Toyota of Clermont offers idling alternatives
So now you know why car idling isn't great for you or your ride - what can you do instead? Here are Clermont Toyota service tips that you can use:
- Don't feel like you need to engage in car idling to "warm up" your car - it doesn't need it, and driving it will warm it up quicker than sitting in your driveway. This is even true in cold climates outside of the Orlando area. New automotive technology has ensured that cars are more efficient than ever.
- Try not to idle in traffic! If you're going to be sitting in one spot for more than ten seconds, consider turning the engine off. Believe it or not, restarting your car won't use more gas than letting it idle for ten seconds, thanks to electronic fuel carburetors. Don't worry about your fuel efficiency - use our Clermont Toyota tips!
- If you're waiting to meet someone or pick someone up, our Clermont Toyota service techs recommend going inside the store or school to do so if it's too hot or cold to sit in your car with the windows down and the engine off. If the weather is nice, crank them down and enjoy the breeze while you wait!
- Avoid drive-throughs. You can sit and idle for quite some time in them, especially if the restaurant or pharmacy is busy. Instead, park your car and walk inside… you'll also get the benefit of cardiovascular exercise!
Another suggestion? Invest in a hybrid car! We know, we know - it means getting behind the wheel of a new ride. However, these green cars really do help reduce emissions and are great for idling due to the fact that they switch over to the electric motor when you're not in motion or driving under a certain speed. They're an easy way to save fuel and also give your gasoline engine a break when you're stuck in heavy traffic.
Think you may be guilty of car idling? Let our Orlando Toyota service techs take a peek under your hood to make sure it hasn't punished your car too badly. They'll check out your engine bay and inspect items like your spark plugs, fuel cylinders, exhaust system - basically, anything and everything to do with the engine that impacts your performance.
Want to schedule an auto service appointment at Toyota of Clermont? Call us today at (866) 454-1614. We're open seven days a week and we're ready to get you back on the road in great shape!