SAMPLE WEBPAGE FOR CONSIDERATION
OF CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD
Be Idle Free
WHAT IS IDLE-FREE?
A vehicle that avoids idling when it is not necessary, like when parked with the engine running and going nowhere. In California, it can be estimated that idling of all vehicles when parked burns more than 300 million gallons of fuel every year, emitting more than 3 million tons of CO2.
• Save money by burning less fuel & avoiding needless engine wear
• Improve air quality and health
• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change
• Conserve energy
The State of California regulates the idling of vehicles greater than 10,000 lbs.: Airborne Toxic Control Measure to Limit Diesel-Fueled Commercial Motor Vehicle Idling. The purpose of this measure is to reduce public exposure to diesel particulate matter and other air contaminants by establishing idling restrictions, and emission standards for heavy-duty diesel engines and alternative idle reduction technologies to limit the idling of diesel-fueled commercial motor vehicles.
The idling of vehicles 10,000 lbs. or less, including light-duty motor vehicles — passenger cars, SUVs, vans and pickup trucks — in California is not regulated as these vehicles emit less toxins than heavy-duty diesel vehicles. However, by sheer numbers, these vehicles as they idle still cause pollution, carbon emissions and wasted energy. Plus they cost motorists money in fuel use and engine wear. Discretionary idling (when parked) is approximately half of all the idling that occurs in California. Much of this idling is unnecessary. Everybody can benefit by avoiding unnecessary idling!
California has established itself as a leader in improving air quality and cutting greenhouse gas emissions with a plan to get more clean cars and trucks on the road. But until that happens, the impact of vehicle emissions — including from idling — will continue to be addressed.
HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
Exhaust from idling of light-duty vehicles includes:
• Nitrogen oxides (NOx), which combine to form ground level ozone that triggers asthma attacks, and damages lung tissue;
sulfur dioxide (SO2) which aggravates lung disease and other breathing problems; carbon monoxide (CO) which interferes
with the delivery of oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues; and toxic and carcinogenic compounds such as benzene,
aldehydes and butadiene. These exhaust chemicals are more potent when idling in weather extremes, in prolonged
stationary vehicle warm ups, and when a line of vehicles are idling, such as at schools. Children and the elderly are
particularly affected by these emissions.
• Greenhouse gases, including from vehicle exhaust, contributes to global climate change. In California, this is having an
impact on increasing year-to-year variability in temperature and precipitation that will create greater contrast between
drought years and wet years leading to the threat of greater wildfire risk and water resources.
TEMPLATE FOR CARB FLYER
WHAT YOU CAN DO: QUICK IDLE-FREE TIPS TO IMPROVE AIR QUALITY & SAVE MONEY
• WHEN IT'S HOT OUT: When parked and waiting, avoid using smartphones and internet browsing with
the engine and A/C running. Such devices can work on their own or off of the vehicle's accessory
mode. Too hot? Open windows, park in the shade, or go into a building to keep cool.
• WARMING UP - ESPECIALLY WHEN IT'S COLD: In general, limit warm ups to 30 seconds or less. Fuel-
injected engines do not need long stationary warm ups. Driving moderately is the best way to warm
up. Note that catalytic converters do not function to reduce tailpipe emissions until the vehicle is
driven. Make sure defrosting is adequate before driving.
Note: For safety reasons it is not recommended to shut off engines in normal traffic such as at long red lights. It is, however, recommended to do so in prolonged back ups, and delays at road construction zones, railroad crossings, and border crossings.
TEMPLATE FOR CARB VIDEO
MORE IDLING FACTS & TIPS ON REDUCING IT
• Idling is the equivalent of 0 miles per gallon
• Every two minutes of idling equals one mile of vehicle travel
• Idling for 10 seconds uses more fuel than turning off the engine and
• A vehicle can be restarted up to 10 times a day without shortening
the life of the starter
• Fuel is only partially combusted when idling because an engine does
not operate at its ideal temperature; this leads to the buildup of fuel
residues on cylinder walls that can damage engine components over
time, shorten the life of motor oil, and increase fuel consumption
• Idling for 15 minutes a day at $3 a gallon will cost $75 to more than
$250 a year, depending on engine size
• Current passenger vehicle owner’s manuals contain information on how to get the best and most economical performance
and often recommend avoiding idling
Idle Free Resources
• U.S. Department of Energy - Alternative Fuels Data Center - Idle Reduction
• Argonne National Laboratory - Energy Systems - Reducing Vehicle Idling
• Idle-Free California - non-profit organization raising awareness of unnecessary idling