Avoiding unnecessary idling
- by Anand Mohan
- Sep 10, 2014
- Views : 36585
When you are stationary, you don't need the engine running all the time. This and more will help you save fuel...
What is idling? It’s the idle speed or RPM at which an engine runs without applying any gas. The engine is thus staying on by being fed fuel to do no work when the car is in neutral. Once you change gears to first and step on the accelerator, the engine speed increases and you get going.
We have grown up with the knowledge that idling your car for a few minutes on a cold winter morning is good for your car. It is not. In the good old days, it was fine as it prolonged the life of the engine but present day fuel injection systems have eliminated the need to idle your car. At idling speed, the engine doesn’t completely burn fuel leaving fuel residue on cylinder walls. This contaminates engine oil over time and will require sooner oil top-ups. Unnecessary idling also makes spark plugs dirtier and as a result fuel consumption increases.
There is no need to warm up a car these days by just idling. Once you get going, the car comes to an optimum operating temperature soon enough. In fact car engines can run for days without a need to stop as the engine oil and coolant keep it in optimum working condition all the time.
When you are driving on the highway, the need to idle doesn’t arise. In stop-go city traffic when you are stuck in a traffic jam or waiting at a signal, you tend to subject the engine to unnecessary idling at several occasions on a daily commute. Best thing to do is staying attentive of the time taken while your engine is idling. You cannot be turning your car on and off every time you come to a halt. It gets quite annoying, we know, but on occasions the car is going to be stationary for more than a few seconds, the engine can be turned off. Now-a-days, most signals come with timers giving you a good idea of the time you can turn the engine off. We also tend to keep the engine on when we are waiting at the side of the road for someone. It is better to turn the car off and get out and stand in the shade.
India experiences extreme driving conditions. The summers are too hot and the winters can get nippy. During these times, we know that air conditioning gives immense comfort. A minute of turning the engine off can make it a bit uncomfortable in the cabin but it is worth it if you are prolonging the life of your engine’s parts and consuming lesser fuel in the process. Remember that an idling car returns zero kilometers to a litre, much lesser than your average supercar.