Turn off your vehicle on long waiting traffic signals, 242°

When you need to wait on the long traffic signals, turn off your vehicles and save energy !

129 comments about this action

please only do this if you are the third car at the red light, because the chances are that the light will change green again quickly, and the burst of unburnt fuel coming from your exhaust when you start your car again is more damaging to the environment than leaving the car running for 20sec.

in July 2008

This from the Stanford Uni School of Earth Sciences website:-

When you’re idling, you’re getting zero miles per gallon. The larger your engine, the more you’ll waste by idling. Additionally, idling cars are a major contributor to urban air pollution. Think of the last time you were walking down the street and got a mouthful of toxic air from a car or delivery truck idling at the curb. Motor vehicle emissions account for approximately 77 percent of the carbon monoxide (CO), more than 35.6 percent of the volatile organic compounds (including hydrocarbons) and forty five percent of the nitrogen oxides (NOx) in our nation's air. The American Lung Association has cited vehicle exhaust as a prime contributor to respiratory problems. Make a commitment not to idle for more than 10 seconds and you’ll improve your community’s health, save gas, save money, and help reduce global warming gases

Tips & Tricks
Turn the key if you’ll be sitting longer than 10 seconds. Whenever you’re waiting in the car or sitting in a line-up, it’s better to kill the engine than keep it running. If you’re at a stoplight or in stop-and-go traffic, use your judgment.

in July 2008

saves money :)

in July 2008

I agree with Charles C.

The 10 second rule might apply for some vehicles, but not all. Some, for example those with turbo chargers and diesels, will do better if you idle for longer periods.

That you're getting zero mpg is not the issue. Stopping and restarting a car has a few effects:
* It takes quite a bit of fuel to restart some engines. This can be more than many seconds of idling.
* It also takes a hit on your battery. The engine needs to work harder to recharge the battery.
* It emits unburnt fuel which is many, many times worse as a greenhouse contributor than CO2. I don't know what the numbers are for gasoline, but methane (also a hydrocarbon) is approx 27 times as bad a greenhouse gas as CO2.
* It stresses the engine, meaning that the engine performance and lifetime are reduced.

in July 2008

Do you have a question, solution or thought on this?
Add a comment and help others!

in August 2008

Turn the car off if you plan to sit for a minute or longer. As mentioned previously, stopping and restarting your engine can emit harmful pollutants while reducing your engines lifespan.
Cars with weak batteries and poor alternators may not restart and cause further traffic congestion. I turn off my car, but only if the halt in traffic is long enough to merit it.

Learn the traffic light patterns on your daily drives, too.

in September 2008

are area has a lot of train crossings if everyone turned there cars off it would save you a lot of gas on average you will be there 5 minutes at 12 cents a minute for gas if you hit this crossing 3 x's a week you do th math ====== about $95.00 a year these are my estimates not actual so you may save more or less but isn't it worth saving

in September 2009

My Prius does that all on its own. :-)

in October 2009

I really ike doing this on the lights I know are long. And I generally turn my car back on earlier than it needs to be, but holding up the folks behind me isn't good for anyone/thing.

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