Don’t idle; it’s exhausting

(U.S. Army photo by Bryan Gatchell, USAG Ansbach Public Affairs)

(U.S. Army photo by Bryan Gatchell, USAG Ansbach Public Affairs)

ANSBACH, Germany (Nov. 29, 2016) – Temperatures in the morning and evening have turned cold recently. While it may be tempting to turn the car on and let it run while the interior heats up and the windshield defrosts, here’s what the Drivers Handbook and Examination Manual for Germany has to say on idling:

Most drivers do not understand the relationship between vehicle idling and fuel efficiency. A 30-second warm-up, followed by driving at slow to moderate speeds, is best for fuel efficiency. Fuel efficiency is worst (0 mpg) when a vehicle is idling and stationary. If the engine is warm and the driver expects to let the vehicle idle for more than 30 seconds, it is more efficient to turn the engine off and restart it when ready to drive away than to keep the engine running.

If getting the vehicle to warm up is the goal, then idling is counter-intuitive. The engine warms up faster when driven, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (http://energy.gov/energysaver/saving-money-gas).

If the goal is to soften the ice on the windshield, drivers can save time by preparing for frosty windshields before they get that way. Covering the windshield overnight is a good preventive measure.

Besides doing a small part to save the environment, not idling saves money. Idling gets you zero miles per gallon, and on and off post idling is prohibited by German traffic regulations. Drivers caught idling can be fined 10€.

For more tips for driving your vehicle in Germany, visit the Drivers Handbook and Examination Manual for Germany at www.ansbach.army.mil/documents/DriversManualGermany.pdf.

To learn more, contact the Logistics Readiness Center – Ansbach’s Drivers Testing / Licensing office by visiting www.ansbach.army.mil/DirectoryL.html#DriversTesting.

For more on environmental issues at USAG Ansbach, visit https://ansbachhometownherald.com/category/environmental-news or www.ansbach.army.mil/Environmental.html.

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