Just turn it off, says Suse

Golden Bay librarian Suse Toder says we don’t need to leave our cars running anymore.

Golden Bay resident Suse Toder would like people to think about not idling their cars, both to save on fuel costs and to reduce greenhouse emissions.

Suse says that in the UK, Canada, US, and Germany it’s illegal to leave your car running to warm up the engine or to demist windows. Evidence shows the car warms up quicker when it goes slowly for the first few minutes. 

“In all these countries it is recommended to turn off your engine if you’re going to be parked for more than 20-30 seconds. A cold engine puts out 2-3 times more exhaust fumes. 

“We’re a smaller population here, but it’s still worth thinking about the greenhouse emissions impact here in New Zealand, where idling is quite normal and actually only a bad habit, especially when one learns how harmful it is for the car, the environment, and health,” she says.

While the old carburetor-equipped vehicles needed to be warmed up, these days most cars on the road are equipped with fuel injection systems that don’t need warming up.

Cars today are computer controlled and adjust fuel delivery based on temperature, throttle setting and engine load. Your car can be driven almost immediately, even at low temperatures.

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