9 Adverse Effects of Idling That Would Make You Stop Doing It

Nov 02, 2018

Your idling questions finally answered!

Whenever we go out, driving to our favorite places, sometimes we can’t help but do some stop over at a certain local joint, but we feel that only one of us has to come out and do whatever. So my husband gets left behind while I do what I have to do. This happens in just a very short amount of time so there’s no need to park and stop the vehicle – especially in places where only street parking is available.

a man sitting in a car

Staying inside the car while it's on is one way of being comfortable while waiting for someone, it is also called idling

Now, in these kinds of situations, we normally choose to just idle the car since we won’t really be staying that long. But, there are valid questions regarding idling that we really need to answer. First, is idling the right thing to do when doing stopovers? Is it really okay to keep the car on idle? Does idling have an effect on our car and ourselves? Let Philcarnews.com give you the answers. 

I. What is Idling and Why Does It Seem to be a Deal?

Idling happens when the car or vehicle’s engine is kept running while the vehicle is in an absolute stop. We do this often times just like the scenario above. Idling seems to be forgivable however, we are getting affected by it in more ways than we can even realize.

idling car in parking lot

Idling can be a good way for us to comfortably wait inside our vehicle, but doing this can have effects on our car

We lose money, we put our health and our car’s health at risk too. These points are explained better below.

II. Effects of Idling on You and Your Vehicle

1. You lose fuel

Of course when you keep your engine running, even if your car doesn’t literally run along the streets, your vehicle is still consuming fuel.

losing fuel

Since you're also using gas when idling, therefore, you are also losing fuel

Don’t be surprised when you come back from an errand while you keep your car on idle that your gas has gone down significantly.

2. You lose money!

This is the direct effect of number one. When you let your car on idle, you lose money because you have to fill up your car again or more frequently than you use to do – just because you chose not to turn off the engine while your car awaits you from your short errand.

losing money

Of course, when you lose fuel, losing money comes hand in hand with it

3. It saves the environment

As you know, even if you don’t see an actual smoke coming out of your vehicle, if your engine is kept running even when unnecessary, it still burns fuel that produces harmful gases that include carbon dioxide which can greatly affect the environment in a negative way.

save earth

By turning off your engine, not only you save fuel and money but you also save the environment

You may think that you’re only one car, and you will have a negligible effect, but be a better person by not adding up to the already polluted earth. Do your part in somehow saving the environment by avoiding things that can contribute negatively to our surroundings.

4. It could compromise our own health

This may sound off, but yes, idling can also affect our health badly. As mentioned in number three, idling still allows your car to emit intoxicating gases that not only our environment can inhale, but us too. Actually, most especially us since we are in the vehicle itself.

Even if we’re not really aware of it but we can inhale the harmful gases released by our vehicle during idling. This makes us, especially children, prone to respiratory diseases like asthma, allergies, and lung and heart problems among others.

So, turning your engine off than choosing to keep it on idle can save our lives too.

5. It could also harm our brain

This came in as a surprise. But, yes, fumes coming from the vehicle during unnecessary idling, when inhaled by kids, can cause damage to brain cells. It was even said that vehicle emissions can cause autism.

dying brain cells

Harmful air emissions from idling can also cause dangerous effects on our brain

Additionally, a research conducted in New York City states that kids inhaling vehicle fumes more often have lower IQs by the time they are 5 years of age. Scary, right?

6. It could harm the engine too!

Harmful to the environment, harmful to our health and yes, harmful to our car’s engine too! Why? Since idling does not put the engine to its peak temperature, the fuel inside the engine is only partially combusted. When this happens, fuel residues are starting to build up on the cylinder walls that would later on damage the car’s engine components which will further result to fuel inefficiency or lower gas mileage.

car engine problem

The car engine can also be damaged due to too much idling

As you know, when the engine gets damaged, it could result in some serious car trouble, which will make us shed more money than we had to only if we avoid idling our vehicle.

7. Idling can also cause noise pollution

Yes, noise is a type of pollution too! During idling, sometimes our car can have a tendency to produce unwanted and unnecessary noises.

noise pollution

Noise is another form of pollution that we can avoid contributing to by turning off our engine when not being used

Although good thing about that is this noise can give us a sign that there might be an underlying car problem, but hey, a noise is still a noise. If you turn off the engine, then it will be quieter.

8. You are setting a bad example to your kids and to other people

Be the “good driver”. If you keep idling your car with your kids inside, not only that you compromise their health and safety but you’re making an impression to them that it is OK to keep your car engine running even when you’re in a complete stop.

As a parent, you should set a good example to your kids and as a responsible driver, you should set a good example for other drivers, especially the new ones. Not because everyone’s doing it and it’s okay for others, doesn’t mean you should just follow the trend. As they say, be the start of the change you want to see. Show what being knowledgeable and responsible father and driver are all about.

9. Your car will smell like that of exhaust fumes

You sure don’t want your car interior to smell of fumes right? This smell will stick to your car walls, roof and upholstery and will be difficult to remove. If you want your car to smell fresh, just turn off the engine if you or someone will be out for more than 10 seconds. Saves you from a lot of trouble.

>>> Click to get more helpful tips and advice for your car maintenance

Source: Ivy Kristia Padura