About Idling

Idling means leaving a vehicle’s engine running when it is parked or not in use.
Anti Idling Logo from Utah Clean Cities
Logo from Utah Clean Cities

Idling happens while:
  • Waiting to pick someone up for ride-sharing or from school, sports practice or the library
  • Sitting at a drive-through or car wash
  • Checking email and voicemail – check before you start the car
Myths about idling: 
  • “I need to warm up my car.” Idling is NOT the best way to warm up your car – driving is.
  • Turning on and off my vehicle will produce more pollution than idling - Studies indicate that the trade-off for light- and medium-duty gasoline powered vehicles is about 10 seconds (i.e. the vehicle will produce more pollution idling longer than 10 seconds than it will by shutting down and restarting the engine).
  • “Shutting off and restarting my car is hard on the engine and uses more gas than if I leave it running.” Frequent restarting has little impact on engine components.
10-second Rule:

Turn off the car's engine if you'll be waiting for more than 10 seconds and help us all breathe easier. Turn your key, be idle free!
Top reasons to be idle free:
  • Breathe easier – car exhaust can aggravate asthma and decrease lung function – especially in children
  • Keep the sky blue – car exhaust is the #1 source of summertime air pollution in the Bay Area
  • Reduce your carbon footprint
How Idling Affects Your Health:
  • The pollutants found in exhaust not only affect our environment, they also negatively affect our health.  Visit SpareTheAir.org for up-to-date air quality alerts.
  • Particulate matter (PM) is the name for tiny particulates, such as soot, dust and dirt found in the air. When inhaled, these small particles travel into the lungs and sometimes into the bloodstream. Inhaling PM can aggravate asthma emphysema, bronchitis, heart disease, and lung disease.
See the Resolution Encouraging The Residential and Business Communities to Take the Idle Free Pledge!