Is it bad for your car to idle?

I just got a new car and I want to make sure I’m taking good care of it. I’ve heard a bunch of myths about how to best take care of your car and I’m curious—is it bad to let your car idle?

Find out if you’re getting ripped off on your car insurance in less than two minutes.
No spam · No long forms · No fees
Find savings (100% Free)
rating white
3.5k Ratings
Answer provided by
Natalie Todoroff
Answered on Apr 21, 2022
It is bad for your car to idle. When your car is still warming up, the engine fuel will not completely combust, which leaves harmful residue in your exhaust system. Over time, this residue can build up and do some serious damage to your engine.
You may have heard the old urban legend that it’s actually better to let your car idle than to turn the engine on and off to save on fuel. This is untrue—if you’re planning on idling for more than 10 seconds, it’s better to just turn your engine off completely. It’s healthier for your engine and for the environment.
Habitually idling your engine is actually illegal in certain cities, and you could end up paying a hefty fine for doing so. In some cities, idling can run you a $2000 ticket!
So, if you don’t want to end up paying out the wazoo on an avoidable ticket, it’s best to avoid idling altogether. And, if you don’t want to end up paying an arm and a leg on car insurance, you should shop for your policy with Jerry.
A licensed broker that offers end-to-end support, the Jerry app gathers affordable quotes, helps you switch plans, and can even help you cancel your old policy. Plus, the average Jerry user saves $887 a year on their car insurance!

Here to save on car and home insurance? Great, you do that. We’ll do everything else.

Sign up in under a minute.
No need to fill out forms or shop around. Sign up in 45 seconds to start saving. Jerry does the rest.
Jerry collects and analyzes your current coverage.
Say hello to Jerry, your new insurance agent. We’ll contact your insurance company, review your current plan, then find the coverage that fits your needs and saves you money.
Get the best options before your renewal.
Jerry does all the picky, busy work by comparing prices and coverage from more than 50+ insurance companies. We compare what we find to your current policy and offer you the three best options before every renewal.

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

√
No long forms
√
No spam or unwanted phone calls
√
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free