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?

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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.
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