Switching off your engine at traffic signals

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  • February 10, 2012 20:02 IST
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Switching off your engine at traffic signals helps you save money and also keeps your environment clean

 

Engine switched off at a signal
Engine switched off at traffic signals

 

 

All those advertisements and hoardings you see on road about turning off your vehicle’s ignition at stop lights to save fuel are right. It’s actually a no brainer: you turn off your car and the engine immediately stops using fuel.

Keeping your engine on idle while stuck in traffic or when waiting for the signal to turn green also consumes more fuel than switching off the ignition and restarting it. According to studies, on an average you waste 0.098 litres of fuel for every 10 minutes of idling. That may not sound much but it all adds up over time. So as a thumb rule, turn off the car if you will be idling over 10 seconds.

Besides, it’s also a good practice to turn off the engine to show your care for the environment. While engines today emit considerably far less toxic gases, including hyrdrocarbons, carbon-monoxide and nitrous oxides, than carburettor-based cars of yore, cutting down on idling does help reduce CO2 emissions.

Another tip to remember is to turn off or use the AC sparingly. Air-conditioning can dramatically reduce fuel economy if you’re driving at low speeds. The effects are not so apparent when the vehicle is driven at higher speeds. And while you might think that electricals such as defoggers, heated seats, etc use only the battery, one should remember that it takes that much more running from the engine to recharge the battery again. So even these “gas-guzzling” devices should be turned off when not in use.

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