How long can a car idle?

I often get stuck out the front of my daughter’s school when I’m picking her up. I worry about my gas or the strain it may be putting on my car. How long can the car idle?

Ah yes, the classic parent car line at the end of a school day!
The truth is, there’s no set-in-stone answer, but it’s important not to idle too long for several reasons, including fuel economy, battery life, and the environment. In some cities and states, idling is now illegal!
Because of this, most experts recommend idling for only a few minutes at a time. Even so, that doesn’t mean if you idle longer that your car will die or it will cause serious issues.
Since you care about your car, it’s best to turn it off while you wait. While it may be an extra step to start it up every time you move, it can prevent any future issues.
If staying safe is a concern, especially when picking up your daughter, consider a roadside assistance membership with Jerry. Jerry’s roadside assistance membership gives you access to industry-leading roadside assistance for as little as $4.16 a month.
Will Baldwin
Answered on Oct 29, 2021

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