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I found this interesting article... I think in reality parts of it are impractical - I mean ideally you should be turning your engine off if your are expecting to wait longer than 6 seconds.


When to turn off your engine : Yahoo! Green

This post is by Mel Peffers, Air Quality Project Manager at Environmental Defense.

In the winter, many people idle their car engine after starting it up because they think it needs time to warm up. Not true! Today's fuel-injected engines don't need a warm-up period, and idling for long periods can lead to excessive engine wear.

Worse, cars idling for more than 10 seconds use more gas and create more global warming pollution than simply restarting the engine. Surprised? It's true - the 10-second rule has been proven empirically.

The 10-second rule was originally published on the Canadian Office of Energy Efficiency's Idle-Free Zone webpage. Their results were replicated by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, which found that restarting uses the same amount of fuel as idling with the air conditioner on for 6 seconds.

Diesel engines can use more fuel idling than moving a vehicle - as much as four times more (see this study on school buses in Los Angeles, and also this EPA study with similar findings). Besides contributing to global warming, diesel engine emissions can cause a host of health problems: asthma attacks, impaired lung function, heart problems, and even death.

Idling is a significant problem in large cities like New York and Los Angeles, where people are often stuck in traffic. A car in gridlock emits up to three times the pollution as one in free-flowing driving conditions.

Environmental Defense is working with the City of New York on reducing traffic congestion. We're also working with Mayor Bloomberg on tougher enforcement of the existing idling law, which has been in effect for five years. Plus, we're working on a no-idling policy for school buses in Texas, and on Truck Stop Electrification (TSE) expansion, so truckers won't need to idle overnight while sleeping. And our GreenFleet initiative helps fleet owners reduce emissions.

Avoiding pollution and engine wear aren't the only benefits of not idling. You also can save gas and money. Here are a couple of studies that demonstrate this:

Edmunds.com: "... you can drastically improve your gas mileage."

Homemade Hybrid: "I kicked the idling habit and saved a gallon of gas per tank ..."

With this cost-of-idling worksheet from Argonne National Laboratories, you can calculate the savings for your own vehicle. For more tips on clean driving, visit Car Talk's Driving Tips for Tree-Huggers.

Not idling is good for the environment, good for your wallet, good for engines, and good for health. Everyone wins by simply turning off an idling engine.




Interestingly it has a link to a idle engine fuel calculator -

where at 800 RPM, you would burn 0.64 gal/hr - almost 2.5 litres/hr.


it works out to 0.04 litres/min or 0.01 gal/min which doesn't seem like much, but i guess over time it ads up. if you idle warming your car up in the morning for 10 min, plus leaving work and shoveling off the snow/ice + waiting at all the traffic lights, you can see why you just lost 5% of your tank in a day without even driving.
 

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from the Canada site, it seems that 5 min a day would be 73L a year wasted for idling.
 

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thats interesting...does it factor in changes in feul efficiency for how long the engine has been running?

because i guarantee that anyone who takes short couple mile trips will get significantly less mileage than someone who takes 20 or 30+ mile trips.
 

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i always thought you have to wait for the oil to circulate to reduce engine wear. Its like not being able to hit vtec on a cold start. Idk but i like to start it in the morning and let it warm up. I turn the heat on so when i go back in its warm. I dont like sitting in the cold driving without heat. I rather waste a little bit of gas then driving off cold. Idk my opinion
 

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:police: Interesting, given the average wait time at a stop light were I live is 15 secs. Of course I don't know how practical this will be in practice. Usually I don't shut my engine off unless traffic is backed up or I'm waiting for a train to go by. :driving:
 

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thats interesting...does it factor in changes in feul efficiency for how long the engine has been running?

because i guarantee that anyone who takes short couple mile trips will get significantly less mileage than someone who takes 20 or 30+ mile trips.


I think that's another ballgame. The longer the trip the more efficient the engine goes, true, but this is just comparing idle time to engine off. I think its interesting though how they say the engine does not actually need time to warm up. This seems to suggest that if you just go out for a short trip, you might be saving more gas than if you had let your car warm up for a few min.
 

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:police: Interesting, given the average wait time at a stop light were I live is 15 secs. Of course I don't know how practical this will be in practice. Usually I don't shut my engine off unless traffic is backed up or I'm waiting for a train to go by. :driving:


Well the trick to the lights would be to slow down until you get there... thus becoming more efficient - if your in manual, drop down a gear or two and ride it out.

As for waiting for a train, I guess you could turn your car off. Though on a cold day, I don't know too many people who would! Coming through that I think that cars need to follow the hybrid approach - where your engine shuts off when stopped, but the a/c and heat will still run off the battery. A better recharging system would thus be required as you have in the hybrids.
 

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i always thought you have to wait for the oil to circulate to reduce engine wear. Its like not being able to hit vtec on a cold start. Idk but i like to start it in the morning and let it warm up. I turn the heat on so when i go back in its warm. I dont like sitting in the cold driving without heat. I rather waste a little bit of gas then driving off cold. Idk my opinion


That's why electric seat heaters are good! I agree with you with not wanting to drive cold. Also there is the idea that if your car is parked, and the windshield is frozen, you want the defroster to heat up enough so that it can keep the windshield wiper blades from freezing onto the glass.

Again I think there are some real world limitations with this approach unless you have a hybrid.
 

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they fail to mention what turning on and off the car that much would do to ur ignition system...... i say a lot more wear and tear..... its funny what they say about the newer cars not needing to warm up..... i wonder y hondas idle high till they warm up....... it may be kinda of irrelevent but i used to have a 3rdgen accord and if i didnt let the fast idle go down and warm up it would just eat through the gas.....i'll stick to letting my car warm up to at least 2temp bars, and im not turning my car off for a stop light....
 

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yea .. i notice that when i warm up my car i get better gas mileage... and the car feels funny when i dont let it warm up through out the day..
 

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they fail to mention what turning on and off the car that much would do to ur ignition system...... i say a lot more wear and tear..... its funny what they say about the newer cars not needing to warm up..... i wonder y hondas idle high till they warm up....... it may be kinda of irrelevent but i used to have a 3rdgen accord and if i didnt let the fast idle go down and warm up it would just eat through the gas.....i'll stick to letting my car warm up to at least 2temp bars, and im not turning my car off for a stop light....
:word:
 

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The article was written by a project manager at Environmental Defense.. Of course he's going to try to convince everyone that a warm up period is not needed. I'm going to keep warming up my engine/oil before I take the car out. Sure it makes more pollution but it sure will save my engine and turbo in the long run.
 

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however you then need to acount for starter wear. a warm engine is accualy more work for the starter motor to crank so yeah you will save a couple bucks per tank but is it worth it when you have to replace the starter at 50k miles which knowing my honda dealer is probably $1500+
 

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i doubt the starter will break that quick. people have been driving for years and started up their cars 8x more than we have with older cars.. no issues.
 

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i doubt the starter will break that quick. people have been driving for years and started up their cars 8x more than we have with older cars.. no issues.
i doubt its the starter either. in europe there is a model of the MINI Cooper that actually has a feature which will automatically stop the engine when you stop for more than 20 seconds or something and automatically start it when you press the gas.

but i doubt its good for your engine, and i doubt itll effect mileage, because you never get the engine warmed up. its all about emissions. and in europe your taxed partially on emissions bracket.
 

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how could you compare a 3rd gen accord to a modern day car? that accord is prehistoric in todays terms. Cars are built way more reliable and whats to say that the starter and any associated parts are built strong enough to do frequent starts?
 

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Idling is excessive wear on the engine. it's actually better in the morning to idle for 15-30 seconds and then take off being easy on the throttle until the motor is warmed up.
 
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