Don’t Be Idle About Idling Habits

Mar 18, 2015
Categories: Driving
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In our previous post, we asked this question:

In May of what year was the cornerstone for East Avenue auditorium site laid?


In 1950, Kitchener council chose the location on East Avenue for the facility. They bought the land for anywhere between $600-1000 per acre. The auditorium was officially opened on May 24th, 1951, the fourth largest facility of its kind in Ontario.

Did you know the answer?

Now for this post’s question!

What was the last car sold with a carburetor in the United States?

Check back for the answer in our next post!

It’s fairly common on a cold winter morning to see cars running in the driveway, while the driver likely sits inside, finishing their cup of coffee. We like to “warm up the engine” before driving off, in the belief that the car needs time to warm up or else we could damage it in cold temperatures. Five minutes tends to be the typical amount of time to let the engine heat up… but did you know that this is not only unnecessary, but also costly for your wallet and the environment?

Don’t Warm Up

If you have a car built pre-1990, you can stop reading here and go warm up that beast. But starting in the 1980s, vehicle manufacturers started using modern fuel injection systems instead of carburetors. Our modern systems regulate the ratio of air to fuel reaching your engine, and they rely on oxygen sensors rather than needing to warm up to get the right air-fuel mix.

Any car built after 1990 only needs 30 seconds or so to be ready to drive. Then you can get going to your destination, and the car will actually warm up faster than if it was sitting in your driveway idling!

Breathe Easier

For every ten minutes that a car is running, it releases around one pound of carbon dioxide. This is considered to be one of the major contributors to global warming, and it’s bad for your health, too!

Inhaling hydrocarbons can exacerbate certain health conditions, and has also been found linked to increased rates of diseases like heart & lung disease and cancer.

Save Your Pennies

And who wants to waste gas? How much we pay at the pump is a constant source of griping for Canadians, and letting your car idle will just increase your gas waste and how much you’re paying overall.

In fact, Natural Resources Canada did a study that showed a five-minute idling warm-up increased a vehicle’s fuel consumption by 7-14%. Every ten minutes of idling uses between a tenth and a fourth of a litre. Some larger or less fuel efficient vehicles can use up to a third or a half a litre. That’s a lot of wasted gas!

According to Green Action Center, if Canadian motorists reduced their idling by just 3 minutes a day, it would be the same as removing 320,000 vehicles from the road for the whole of 2015.

Drive Smarter

Any time you need to idle more than 10 seconds, you actually use more fuel than shutting off and restarting your vehicle. And if you need to head out on a cold morning, thirty seconds or less is more than enough time to get the car ready to move.


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