AskPatty’s Tips to #Green Your Car and Save Gas: Avoid Excessive Idling
An idling car gets zero miles per gallon, but still produces toxic emissions.
Everybody knows if you turn off a light bulb as you leave the room you'll save electricity. If you turn off your car you’ll save gas. In fact, idling for 15 minutes burns through an average of a quarter of a gallon. If you’re at a railroad crossing, at a long traffic light, sitting in the drive-through lane, or even waiting to pick someone up, turn off your engine. It's as simple as that.
As for warming up your car in the morning, unless you are in extremely cold environments, even the FTC recommends that you start driving within 30 seconds after the engine is started as a way to save money on gas. The fact is that, once the oil gets circulated through its moving parts, most modern engines don't need much time to warm up. The engine actually warms up more quickly once the car is operating, and will stay warm after stopping. Once you've defrosted your windows and cleared the snow from your car, it's safe to drive; if you're cold, use your seat heaters.