Monday, November 03, 2014

I am Grateful for Clean Air

Day 1:  I am grateful for those that turn their cars off instead of letting them idle.

I commute by bike most every day, which means I get to interact with the drivers on our roads. Since it is November I thought it would be nice to post some of the things I am grateful about the drivers in the area. I know that the conflict between bikes and cars can get out of hand sometimes, but there are also a lot of good drivers out there.

Cold winter days often trap the air in the valley, and Utah Valley air can get quite nasty during the winter (well during the summer also). So, I am grateful for those that help keep the air clean by turning their cars off instead of letting them idle.

Here is some information from
Not idling saves money
It is estimated that the average driver idles his or her vehicle for 10 minutes each day. Considering, an idling car wastes up to 0.5 gallon per hour, drivers all across America are consuming significant amounts of fuel (that they have paid for) to go nowhere. Over time this translates to considerable fuel costs and engine wear.

Not idling reduces pollution
When a vehicle is idling, it continues to release emissions into the air.  Additionally, when a vehicle is not moving, more pollutants are able to enter the cab.

Not idling supports public health
Tailpipe emissions contribute to Particulate Matter (PM2.5) in the air, and the formation of ground‐level ozone. These pollutants aggravate respiratory and cardiovascular problems, especially in children who take more air into their lungs per minute than adults.

Additionally, in many areas in the state and across the nation idling your vehicle is against the law. However, your safety and the safety of your passengers is always the number one priority. Please use your best judgment when weather conditions are extreme and never turn off your vehicle in traffic.

Idling Myths

The engine should be warmed up before driving.
Idling is not an effective way to warm up your vehicle, even in cold weather. The best way to do this is to drive the vehicle. With today's modern engines, you need no more than 30 seconds of idling on winter days before driving away.

Idling is good for your engine.
Excessive idling can actually damage your engine components, including cylinders, spark plugs, and exhaust systems. Fuel is only partially combusted when idling because an engine does not operate at its peak temperature. This leads to the build up of fuel residues on cylinder walls that can damage engine components and increase fuel consumption.

Shutting off and restarting your vehicle is hard on the engine and uses more gas than if you leave it running.
Frequent restarting has little impact on engine components like the battery and the starter motor. Component wear caused by restarting the engine is estimated to add $10 per year to the cost of driving, money that will likely be recovered several times over in fuel savings from reduced idling. The bottom line is that more than ten seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting the engine.
You may not be able to avoid keeping your engine running when you're stopped at a traffic signal or stuck in slow-moving traffic. But other times idling is unnecessary.

I just love to ride my bike

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