Idling Quiz

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  1. Idling wastes fuel and money and impacts the environment. True or false?

    TRUE: Right. Idling wastes a significant amount of money because it burns fuel but doesn't get you anywhere. It's also impacts the environment because it produces greenhouse gas emissions from the vehicle.

    FALSE: Sorry. In fact, idling wastes a significant amount of money because it burns fuel but doesn't get you anywhere. It's also impacts the environment because it produces greenhouse gas emissions.

  2. With the advanced emissions technology used in today's vehicles, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from an idling vehicle are greatly reduced. True or false?

    TRUE: Wrong. While it's true that advanced emission control technologies have helped in reducing emissions of CACs such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide (CO) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX) – which can contribute to air quality problems – emission control systems do not reduce carbon dioxide (CO2). This is an unavoidable by-product of burning gasoline or diesel fuel. But we can avoid burning fuel and producing CO2 emissions by eliminating unnecessary vehicle idling.

    FALSE: Good answer! While it's true that advanced emission control technologies have succeeded in reducing emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide (CO) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX), – which can contribute to air quality problems – emission control systems do not reduce carbon dioxide (CO2). This is an unavoidable by-product of burning gasoline or diesel fuel. But we can avoid burning fuel and producing CO2 emissions by eliminating unnecessary vehicle idling.

  3. Idling contributes to the climate change problem. True or false?

    TRUE: Right. Carbon dioxide (CO2) – the principle greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change – is classified as a greenhouse gas because it increases the earth's natural "greenhouse effect" and in doing so is altering the world's climate. CO2 is an unavoidable by-product of burning gasoline. Each litre of gasoline that is used produces about 2.3 kg of CO2. Therefore, every time you start the engine, you're contributing to climate change.

    FALSE: Wrong. Carbon dioxide (CO2) – the principle greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change is classified as a greenhouse gas because it increases the earth's natural "greenhouse effect" and in doing so is altering the world's climate. CO2 is an unavoidable by-product of burning gasoline. Each litre of gasoline that is used produces about 2.3 kg of CO2. Therefore, every time you start the engine, you're contributing to climate change.

  4. In the winter, the best way to warm up a vehicle is to drive it. True or false?

    TRUE: Very good – The best way to warm a vehicle up is to drive it. With today's computer-controlled engines, even on cold winter days no more than two to three minutes of idling is usually enough warm-up time before starting to drive. Also many parts of the vehicle – including the wheel bearings, tires and suspension system – will warm up only when the vehicle is moving. Until the engine temperature begins to rise, it's a good idea to avoid high speeds and rapid acceleration until all parts are warmed up. It's also important to ensure that windows are free from snow and properly defrosted before driving away!

    FALSE: Sorry. Driving the vehicle is the right answer. With today's computer-controlled engines, even on cold winter days no more than two to three minutes of idling is usually enough warm-up time before starting to drive.

  5. Using a block heater helps an engine warm up quickly, which means less fuel consumption. True or false?

    TRUE: Yes, you can help reduce the impact of cold starts – and reduce idling times – by using a block heater on cold winter days. This device warms the coolant, which in turn warms the engine block and lubricants. The engine will start more easily and reach its proper operating temperature faster. At -20°C, block heaters can improve overall fuel economy by as much as 10 percent. For a single short trip at -25°C, your fuel savings could be in the order of 25 percent.

    FALSE: The answer you're looking for is "true." You can help reduce the impact of cold starts – and reduce idling times – by using a block heater on cold winter days. This device warms the coolant, which in turn warms the engine block and lubricants. The engine will start more easily and reach its proper operating temperature faster. At -20°C, block heaters can improve overall fuel economy by as much as 10 percent. For a single short trip at -25°C, your fuel savings could be in the order of 25 percent.

  6. Idling warms up the entire vehicle: True or false?

    TRUE: Sorry, the answer is "false." Many parts of the vehicle – including the wheel bearings, tires and suspension system – will warm up only when the vehicle is moving. Actually, the best way to warm it up is to drive it. In fact, with today's computer-controlled engines, even on cold winter days two to three minutes of idling is usually enough warm-up time before starting to drive.

    FALSE: Another good answer. Many components of the vehicle – including the wheel bearings, tires and suspension system – will warm up only when the vehicle is moving. Actually, the best way to warm it up is to drive it. In fact, with today's computer-controlled engines, even on cold winter days two to three minutes of idling is usually enough warm-up time before starting to drive.

  7. It's a good practice to shut off the engine when your vehicle is going to be stopped for more than 60 seconds. True or false?

    TRUE: Right. Believe it or not, idling for over 10 seconds uses more fuel (and produces more CO2) than restarting your engine. However, as a guideline, if you're going to stop for 60 seconds or more – except in traffic – turn the engine off. You'll save money on fuel that should more than offset any potential increased maintenance costs from any extra wear and tear on your starter or battery. And your vehicle won't produce emissions of carbon dioxide, the principle greenhouse gas contributing to climate change.

    FALSE: Wrong. Believe it or not, idling for over 10 seconds uses more fuel (and produces more CO2) than restarting your engine. However, as a guideline, if you're going to stop for 60 seconds or more – except in traffic – turn the engine off. You'll save money on fuel that should more than offset any potential increased maintenance costs from any extra wear and tear on your starter or battery. And your vehicle won't produce emissions of carbon dioxide, the principle greenhouse gas contributing to climate change.

  8. I should turn my vehicle off when I'm caught either in stop-and-go traffic or at a long stoplight. True or false?

    TRUE: Sorry. While the 60-second rule is a good one, you can't avoid some idling. Turning off your vehicle in these situations is a safety hazard. The engine should be left running in case of an emergency situation.

    FALSE: The 60-second rule is a good one, but remember, you can't avoid some idling. Turning off your vehicle in these situations is a safety hazard. The engine should be left running in case of an emergency situation.

  9. Idling is a problem only in winter. True or false?

    TRUE: Wrong – idling is a problem year-round. Calculations drawn from a Canadian study on driving habits and behaviours found that on any given day in August, Canadians idle their vehicles for a combined total of more than 46 million minutes per day – equal to one vehicle idling for 89 years. The problem is worse in winter, but there's never a good time to waste fuel and generate greenhouse gas emissions by idling your vehicle.

    FALSE: Right, idling is a problem year-round. Calculations drawn from a Canadian study on driving habits and behaviours found that on any given day in August, Canadians idle their vehicles for a combined total of more than 46 million minutes per day – equal to one vehicle idling for 89 years. The problem is worse in winter, but there's never a good time to waste fuel and generate greenhouse gas emissions by idling your vehicle.

  10. Making sure it's safe to drive the vehicle away is more important than reducing idling time. True or false?

    TRUE: Good answer! Safety should always be your first consideration. Make sure that the vehicle's windows are clear of ice and snow and are defrosted before you pull away. To prevent your car windows from fogging up, clear snow from the air intake on top of the hood and open a window as soon as you enter the vehicle.

    FALSE: Sorry, the answer here is "true." Safety should always be your first consideration. Make sure that the vehicle's windows are clear of ice and snow and are defrosted before you pull away. To prevent your car windows from fogging up, clear snow from the air intake on top of the hood and open a window as soon as you enter the vehicle.

  11. If you are going to be stopped for more than 60 seconds, turning the engine off saves money.

    TRUE: Yes, if you turn the engine off for more than 60 seconds you should be saving money. The break-even point to offset any potential incremental maintenance costs due to wear and tear on the starter and battery is under 60 seconds.

    FALSE: Sorry, it's actually true. If you turn the engine off for more than 60 seconds you should be saving money. The break-even point to offset any potential incremental maintenance costs due to wear and tear on the starter and battery is under 60 seconds.

  12. A poorly tuned engine, whether you're driving a vehicle down the road or letting it idle, uses up to 15 percent more fuel than a well-tuned vehicle. True or false?

    TRUE: Right again! Whether you're driving a vehicle down the road or letting it idle in your driveway, a poorly tuned engine will consume more fuel – and generate more greenhouse gas emissions – than one that you properly maintain.

    FALSE: Sorry, this statement is true. Whether you're driving a vehicle down the road or letting it idle in your driveway, a poorly tuned engine will consume more fuel – and generate more greenhouse gas emissions – than one that you properly maintain.