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Norwalk Daily Voice serves Norwalk & Rowayton

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Don't Idle Even for a While

Take care of your car and take care of your Earth. Here are tips from the Environmental Defense Fund and the Hinkle Charitable Foundation's Anti-Idling Primer . It's definitely time to turn off your engine.

Driving warms your car faster than idling. Cars warm up more efficiently and faster when you drive instead of idle. Electric cars will soon incorporate a feature that allows the owner to use a cell phone to tell the car (when it's plugged into the grid) to pre-warm or pre-cool the interior, precluding the excuse for even brief idling.

The Environmental Defense Fund advises motorists to turn off their ignition if they're sitting stopped for more than 10 seconds. So when you drive through the drive-thru at the bank, don't forget to switch off the engine while depositing your paycheck.

Idling makes engines operate in an inefficient and gasoline-rich mode which, over time, can degrade performance and reduce mileage."

Idling will cost you money. Throughout a year of five minutes of daily idling, the "Anti-Idling Primer" estimates a V-8-engined car will waste 20 gallons of gasoline, which produces 440 pounds of carbon dioxide and costs at least $60.

If those reasons don't convince you, here is one more eye-catcher. ?Letting your car idle in the garage, even with the door open, is dangerous and exposes you to carbon monoxide and other noxious gases. And if the garage is attached, those fumes can also enter the house.

How long do you think is too long to idle? Do you cut off the engine while waiting at the drive-thru? Tell me the truth!

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