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Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Car That Idles….

We've all heard the saying, "an idle mind is the devil's playground." Well, the same could be said for an idle car, or better put, any vehicle that idles. Did you know that Americans burn approximately 2.9 billion gallons of gas per year, just by idling?!  According to a recent report from Texas A&M, that amounts to about $78.2 billion! That doesn't even account for the wear and tear that idling puts on your vehicle. Environmental Defense has found that idling for more than 10 seconds wastes more gas than is required to start most vehicles. While it doesn't make sense to shut your engine off at every stop sign, it's definitely a good idea to shut if off when waiting in long lines, e.g. the drive-thru at the bank, fast food restaurants, or even when dropping the kids off at school.  Not only does idling waste a significant amount of gas, it also decreases air quality, for obvious reasons. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency reports that a single vehicle dropping off and picking up kids at one school puts about three pounds (3 lbs.) of pollution into the air per month. As a result, many communities have implemented "no idling zones" around schools, churches and various other locations. At this time, there are approximately 15 states and several counties, that have laws restricting idling for large diesel engines. So, stop idling! You will use less fuel, save money and contribute to better air quality.

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