As a husband and father of 4 kids, our lives are quite busy. With all of the kids busy with activities, plus the extended hours that I work, it makes it difficult to fit everything into our daily routines. We try to plan as best as we can to save time, but some things we do as drivers aren’t really too smart.
One fine morning I decided to stop off at my bank to withdraw some money. I parked my car in the empty parking lot and proceeded to walk toward the mall where the bank machine was. As I approached the mall, I spotted a car, which was parked in the aisle, with the engine running with no one inside of it. What was he trying to save? How long does it take to restart your engine that he would feel that he had to keep it running?
In a lot of jurisdictions, if you leave your engine running and someone steals your vehicle, your insurance won’t accept this as a claim. So, why do it? What advantages do you have for leaving your vehicle and leaving the engine running? If you were asked by the bylaw officer who was about to give you a ticket why you did it, what would you say?
With all that we hear about saving the environment, he wasn’t helping things by idling his engine when he didn’t have to. What a waste of fuel and money. In most jurisdictions, the fine can reach over $300 for idling your engine. So, the time you’re saving will cost you in cash, plus CO2 you’re causing unnecessarily.
I had a neighbour who used to go outside on a cold, winter morning and start his engine. He then would go back inside and finish his coffee before going back to his car. He felt he was warming up his vehicle so it would run better as he drove to work. That not true however. The engine warms up better and faster with the vehicle moving. Your body does the same. Jumping up and down and running on the spot doesn’t warm you up faster than running down the street and back. Even in very cold weather, it will take roughly 30 seconds to warm your vehicle up enough to begin driving. Any longer is a waste.
But what abut this driver who wasn’t at home, but at the mall? I still don’t have a reason for his actions. He probably doesn’t have a reason either.