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5 Reasons to stop idling after 10 seconds

Gallons of gas wasted from idling

If a car is stopped for more than 10 seconds, it’s better to turn off the engine rather than idle.

It saves gas: If you idle for 5 minutes dropping your kids off in the morning, 3 minutes at the drive-thru and 4 minutes listening to the end of a news story in your driveway, you've burned enough gas to drive 24 miles.

It saves money: Americans spend a whopping $13 million every day on unnecessary idling. (That's 3.8 million gallons of fuel, wasted!)

It saves the planet: For every 10 minutes of idling you cut from your life, you'll save one pound of carbon dioxide, a harmful greenhouse gas, from being released into the atmosphere.

It makes us healthier: Idling is linked to increases in asthma, allergies, heart and lung disease and cancer. Kids are especially vulnerable because they inhale more air per pound of body weight. Lots of idling happens near schools.

It's good for your engine: Idling can damage engine components. According to the California Energy Commission, "Fuel is only partially combusted when idling because an engine does not operate at its peak temperature.This leads to the build-up of fuel residues on cylinder walls that can damage engine components and increase fuel consumption."

Even on cold mornings, the days of idling in the driveway to warm up your car are over: today's cars warm up more efficiently when they're driving than sitting in a driveway.

What can you do?

Take a pledge to stop idling.

Print posters to share with your coworkers.

Turn off your car when stopping for more than 10 seconds.

Adapted from the I Turn It Off program from Sustainable America.