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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 1331, Portland, OR 97204

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The 10 Second Rule

1 Comment

We all know the 5 second rule - it's still ok to eat that cookie if you pick it up from the floor within 5 seconds. Now it's time to learn the 10 second rule, which unlike the 5 second rule, is factual and backed up by science!

Put simply the 10 second rule is this: Turn off your car when stopped for more than 10 seconds. (*Not including stop lights or during stop-and-go traffic).

Why should we turn off our cars after 10 seconds?

  • Idling for more than 10 seconds burns more fuel than stopping and starting your engine.
  • It's also hard on your car - fuel doesn't burn completely and then gums up your engine.
  • Idling waste gas.
  • Idling is polluting - we're adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and we're not evening moving!

So what can we do?

  • Follow the 10 second rule
  • If you warm up your car, follow the 30 second rule - only warm it up for 30 seconds!
  • Tell your friends and neighbors!  (Feel free to just send them this fascinating blog post :)

Check out Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen schooling us on idling:

1 Comment


Nancy Young

September 10, 2011 at 10:40 AM

I have the last of 50 pamphlets titled "Idling your Car" from your department that I have given to idlers.
Could you please send 100 more to:

Nancy Young
1400 SE Lava Dr #25
Portland, OR 9722


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