Don’t Be An Idler!

Don't be an idler2

Switching off when stationary is a no brainer for Purdy – if your car’s engine is on but you’re stationary, your miles per gallon are zilch but the pound notes and pollution are flooding out of your exhaust.

Switch off and the problem immediately goes away – money saved, fuel preserved and pollution cut.

But we know you might have questions, so Purdy’s sharing her experience. 

You might think,  regularly switching on and off is going to use more fuel than it saves.

Not true – in fact idling for just 10 – 20 seconds wastes more fuel than restarting the engine. Purdy checked out The Energy Savings Trust’s take on it. Their detailed research states that “the COemissions (and therefore fuel consumption) from idling were ‘substantial and so high compared to the restart emissions that stopping the engine almost directly (after no more than 10-20 seconds) leads to a benefit”.

Purdy admits, it feels a bit weird to begin with, sitting in traffic with your car switched off, and she was a bit anxious about how quickly she could turn back on again for example at traffic lights. But with a close eye on the lights,  swiftly getting in gear and turning on only takes a split second and she doesn’t feel she is any less quick off the mark than anyone else!

So the big question, when to turn off?

This is how Purdy does it…

  • If she gets to the traffic lights as the lights turn red, then she turns off. If the lights are already red when she arrives, she takes a view – does she know these traffic lights, how many cars are in front etc. Sometimes she switches off, sometimes she doesn’t
  • She always turns off at level crossings, Eastgates springs to mind
  • She also always switches off if she is parked up, waiting for someone, picking someone up or stopping to make a phone call.
  • Traffic jams are trickier and she plays them by ear, getting a feel for the jam before deciding whether to turn off or not

So it really is all up to you and what you feel comfortable with. But if everyone turns off their engine when they are stationary for a minute or more, this will impact positively on local air quality as well as making your fuel go further.

It will feel weird to begin with, but stay with it, once you are in the habit, it will become second nature, especially if everyone else is doing it too! 

So… ‘Don’t Be An Idler – Stationary for more than a minute – Switch It Off!’


So, what do you think?