It’s getting colder again, and the Regina Police would like to once again remind the public of the risks in leaving your vehicle running while unoccupied. An unoccupied, running vehicle is a sign to opportunists that the keys are likely in the ignition, which increases the likelihood that the vehicle will be stolen. However; the practice of leaving a vehicle idling is out-of-favour for other reasons, too.
According to National Resources Canada, idling a car for more than 10 seconds burns more fuel than starting your car. Idling for more than 60 seconds is pure waste. Help your budget and the environment by turning off your car and taking your keys with you, when you run into the store for a quick errand. Today’s electronic engines warm up best by easing the vehicle into motion (Reverse or Drive) and avoiding excessive engine revving. Leaving your car stationary with the engine running means more dirty exhaust building up in a single location, which leaves those around the vehicle (including yourself) breathing in the added pollution.
Even as overnight temperatures start dipping below zero, remember a vehicle’s engine warms twice as quickly when driven, so easing into your drive is also the quickest and best way to get your vehicle’s heating system delivering warm air. The benefit of warm air from the heater in an idling car doesn’t offset the negative health effects from exhaust inhalation. Consider the costs: the added wear of frequent restarts on a modern car’s engine and battery costs around $10 a year. That’s much less than the costs of wasted fuel which, depending on: idling habits, vehicle type, and fuel prices; can range from $70 to hundreds of dollars.
So turn off the engine and take your keys with you. You’ll breathe in better quality air. You’ll help the environment. You’ll keep money in your wallet, fuel in your tank, and your vehicle in your possession.