Leaving Cars Running in Parking Lots


#1

Every morning when we stop for coffee on the way to work, my husband and I see cars left running in the parking lot. At first it was just during very cold weather, and we assumed people just wanted to keep the car warm. Now we see it literally all year round and we don’t get it. I can’t believe this saves gas, because it takes at least 3 or 4 minutes to go inside and get coffee. And I’ve even seen it at the grocery store! What’s the deal?


#2

Most people don’t realize in most states, it’s illegal to leave a vehicle running when unattended. If the vehicle is stolen, the driver can be charged with assisting in a crime.

Tester


#3

It probably has more to do with saving a few seconds of commute time. For three or four minutes, turning it off and restarting it probably uses less fuel, but not by much. We are probably talking about ounces worth of fuel on any modern car. I normally shut mine off if I’m going to be gone for more than a minute or so, unless it’s cold and I want to let the engine/heat warm up. If it’s very cold, I’ve been known to let mine run while I stop and eat breakfast. It’s not a problem unless you think someone’s going to steal it.


#4

“It’s not a problem unless you think someone’s going to steal it.”

Does that mean that if you don’t think someone is going to steal your car it won’t get stolen?

It’s never a good idea to leave a vehicle running and unattended. It’s dangerous and a potential liability.


#5

I’ll assume you know what I meant so I won’t bother to explain. I would definitely recommend some common sense as to when. where, and for how long you leave a vehicle running. If it worries you, don’t do it.


#6

Also, it’s quite possible to leave your car locked while it’s idling, which would take care of the theft aspect of it.


#7

You don’t think a thief, professional or even just a kid, couldn’t break the window to take a running car? HAHAHAHA!


#8

Okay, I’m not saying that’s impossible, but generally breaking a window and driving off an idling car is a lot more conspicuous than just hopping in one and driving off, especially in a busy parking lot. I’d say that locking it would be a reasonable deterent to the casual would-be car thief.


#9

Leaving an unattended vehicle is also illegal in many states because that vehicle is unnecessarily spewing pollutants into the air. As to why people do it, the answer probably comes down to two factors:

Ignorance and Laziness

If you don’t believe that a lot of people in this country are lazy, just take a look at the width of some of the butts that get out of those cars that are left idling!


#10

There is no reason for it. IMHO its just laziness


#11

“You don’t think a thief, professional or even just a kid, couldn’t break the window to take a running car?”

I think that even I could steal a car in about a minute if its left running or not, what’s the point? My silly old jeep had a dead battery the other day, which armed the factory alarm (that I don’t have a remote for); after replacing the battery, it took me less than a minute to kill the alarm, start the jeep and drive away using a pair of wire snips and a screwdriver. I’m not exactly a professional car thief.

As I said, if you’re worried about someone stealing your car, don’t leave it sitting around running. Locking it and taking the key will delay the thief by 15 to 30 seconds and you can relax and enjoy your coffee.


#12

Yup! Laziness and ignorance are the likely explanations. As I said in my earlier post on this thread:

If you don’t believe that a lot of people in this country are lazy, just take a look at the width of the butts that get out of a lot of those cars that are left idling!