Please don’t let your vehicle idle, especially while waiting at schools.
I will not let my vehicle idle for more than 60 seconds. Fact: 10 minutes of idling burns about half a litre of gasoline and emits 1.15 kgs of CO2 as well as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. Source
Children are especially vulnerable to vehicle emissions. Children breathe faster, inhale more air per kilogram of body weight and their lungs are still developing. Their height puts them closer to the source of emissions. Kindergarten play yards are often located next to school drop-off zones.
The negative effects of this exposure include respiratory health issues and poor school performance. Exhaust aggravates asthma and allergies. A child’s exposure to environmental pollutants can have life-long health effects.
It should go without saying that in addition, carbon dioxide emissions from exhaust contribute to global warming.
Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more CO2 than restarting your engine. To balance factors such as fuel savings, emissions and component wear, if you’re going to be stopped for more than 60 seconds – except in traffic – turn the engine off.
Contrary to popular belief, idling is not an effective way to warm up your vehicle, even in cold weather. The best way to warm it up is to drive it. Computer-controlled, fuel-injected engines need no more than thirty seconds of idling on winter days before driving. Warming up the vehicle means more than warming the engine. The tires, transmission, wheel bearings and other moving parts also need to be warm for the vehicle to perform well. Most of these parts don’t begin to warm up until the vehicle is driven.
- Idling – Frequently Asked Questions (nrcan.gc.ca)
- Every breath you take: air pollution from idling cars puts kids at risk, U of T research says (utoronto.ca)
- London Cracks Down on Drivers Who Sit With Engines Idling (treehugger.com)
- Vehicle Idling | the lung association
- Why Idling is Bad for Your Car (and the Environment) | Scott’s Fort Collins Auto (scottsfortcollinsauto.com)
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