Green Motoring

Engine on or off?

posted on Oct 11 2013 by Jade Hensby

Engine on or off?

So you've come to a halt at a set of traffic lights. You know you'll be here for a while, but what do you do? Are you the driver who turns off the engine until youre ready to set off again, or do you sit there with your engine running until its time to set off again? What are the consequences or leaving your car running whilst your mind does too?

Don't get me wrong, my car is temperamental so I fear that if I turn the engine off at each traffic light, it'll never turn on again! But that said if I did have a trusted car would I still sit with the engine running. Other people may leave the car running to achieve a desired temperature level, or to let their cars warm up in those cold winter mornings. Engine and starter wear, along with battery concerns seem to be on other people's minds too. It seems some older vehicles may benefit from being left running, but studies by Transport for London have found that modern cars are barely affected, with engine wear being insignificant and potentially lower than leaving it running for longer periods of time.

A car uses 1.6 ounces of petrol idling for a minute, and it takes around ounce to start the average car. It seems that idling will use more fuel than it would you stop and start it again - generally speaking there is an unwritten rule that you should turn off the engine if you are waiting for 30 seconds or longer.


But manufacturers have taken note of our dreaded glut of traffic, and have brought us hybrid vehicles that aim to boost the fuel economy. With these vehicles, you can come to a stop and seamlessly restart your car once your foot returns to the gas pedal. What makes this great is that it not only saves us money as drivers on petrol and tax, but helps lower our CO2 emissions into the environment, making it easier to be a conscious driver. has a range of cars that use the stop start technology, and with hybrid cars becoming more popular you know youll be leading the trend in your area. To find out more about the cars available from us, try our car lease deals finder table.