Idling Myths

Many Canadians still believe several myths concerning idling their vehicles. Research by government and vehicle manufacturers has debunked three common myths.

Idling Myth #1: The engine should be warmed up for long periods before driving.

Reality: Idling is not an effective way to warm up your vehicle, even in cold weather. The best way to do this is to drive the vehicle. With today’s modern engines, you need no more than 30 seconds of idling before starting to drive.

Idling Myth #2: Idling is good for your engine.

Reality: Excessive idling can actually damage your engine’s components, including cylinders, spark plugs and exhaust system.

Idling Myth #3: Shutting off and restarting your engine is hard on the engine and uses more gas than if you leave it running.

Reality: Frequent restarting has little impact on engine components such as the battery and starter motor. More than 10 seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting the engine.