Starting car uses more fuel than idling?


#1

My mom always said that you shouldn’t turn your car off and then on again because it uses more fuel than idling for a short period of time (less than two minutes).



I feel like that can’t be true. Insight?


#2

Your mother was incorrect. If you are going to idle the engine for more than a minute, you should shut off the engine. Note that this should not be done at traffic lights, however.


#3

Your mother was correct…about cars made 30 years ago. Today’s fuel injected vehicles use much less fuel to start than their counterparts from long ago. So if your car was made after 1980, it should not be left idling too long.


#4

Mon may well have BEEN right. In the old carburetor days, that may have been right when all issues had been added in. Today things are a little different.


#5

Your mom’s method was once true. Cars have changed in the last generation, however. Now it is more economical to turn off and restart the engine rather than leave it idling even for brief periods.


#6

Now it is more economical to turn off and restart the engine rather than leave it idling even for brief periods.

I know what you mean but a new poster may not so it’s time for the obligatory caveat- It might be a false economy to save a little gas but prematurely replace a starter motor that is wedged into a space so small that trained gophers couldn’t manuever into. For everything, there is an eventual cost. Lots of engine cranking…welllll, those pennies saved in gas might not be so frugal afterall…


#7

Starting a cold engine still takes more gasoline for about half a minute. Starting a warm engine takes no extra gasoline.


#8

The only thing I’d add to what’s already been written is that if it’s your mom’s car you should drive it the way she prefers.

Leaving the car on uses a very small amount of fuel and turning it on and off unnecessarily adds wear and tear to the starter assembly.


#9

Your STARTER was not designed for the kind of service you are contemplating. Replacing it when it fails will cost you more than any gas money you saved…Hybrids do indeed shut down when stopped, but they have a completely different starting set-up…