Pet peeve of the day: idling

Why would anyone leave their car running without being IN the car?


I am sure I made an enemy in my new town when I rolled down my window and asked a woman that question. But I really wanted to know, like, was she worried her car wouldn’t start because of the cold weather? Or was she perhaps ill and in need of a warm car the instant she opened the door? Seriously, I thought that perhaps there could be a good reason, and if only I knew the reason, then I could stop being annoyed by the smell of fuel billowing into my atmosphere for no apparent reason.

She had no answer, however, at least none that made any sense to me. She said she was parked in a fire lane. As if that would explain it. So, did she leave the car on so that if there were a fire someone could go into her car and move it? I asked her that. She scowled at me.

I guess she hate me now.

I hate what she’s doing to the environment.

So we’re even.



18 Responses to Pet peeve of the day: idling

  1. cranky housefrau says:

    depends on how long she was idling. might use less gas the let it idle than to shut it off and turn it on again.

  2. Yoga Chickie says:

    You know, I really don’t think that is what she had in mind at all. I don’t think she had anything in mind. I wonder if that is true about more gas to start up than to let idle. I tend to think that’s an old wive’s tale.

  3. Yoga Chickie says:

    More than 10 seconds of idling costs more fuel than restarting the car, according to the Canadian Office of Energy Efficiency (whomever they are). This was the first site I found when I googled the issue:

  4. Bhakti Yogi says:

    I think you absolutely did the right thing. So many unconcious, clueless people around and it’s no secret the environment isn’t getting any better. People need to hear it from those of us who are awake!

  5. samasthiti says:

    Dude, don’t you drive a Lincoln Navigator?

  6. samasthiti says:

    Oh, wait you drive an Acura MDX right?
    You get an average of 17 miles per gallon, and your annual greenhouse gas emissions are 10.80 tons. You are definitely moving towards the worst side of polluters on the roadway.

    Now, I am not saying this to be a finger pointer. Well, I am saying this to be a finger pointer at a finger pointer. It’s best to start at home. That’s all I’m saying. Start at home.

  7. samasthiti says:

    And wow Bhakti Yogi,

    “So many unconcious, clueless people around and it’s no secret the environment isn’t getting any better. People need to hear it from those of us who are awake!”

    I think someone who is truly awake would use different language. I’m just saying.

  8. Bhakti Yogi says:

    I agree Samasthiti..I just caught up in a little anger around this issue when I wrote that. Thanks for keeping me in check. I do feel that we are all here to learn from each other through kindness and understanding…and to help each other evolve consciously around the material, as well as the spiritual 🙂

  9. Globetrotters says:

    In London, If you left the engine running without being in the car, the car would be gone!

  10. shamwari says:

    just what I was thinking!! In South Africa friends of mine have a kill switch-if the car is left idling for more than a few seconds (even with driver inside), the ignition will cut out. Guards against carjackers.

  11. Carl says:

    She leaves her car idling for the same reason she swears at traffic inconveniences and avoids stopping for pedestrians: she hates to have to break her driving rhythm. She can’t help it; she’s just a product of her pavement covered world.

  12. samasthiti says:

    In Sweden you can leave your toddle idling in there stroller outside while you shop.

    Still, as I was trying to say.. you should try to reduce your own carbon footprint before you start pointing fingers.

  13. Yoga Chickie says:

    Susan, that makes me feel judged by you. I do a LOT to reduce my impact on the earth. I don’t do everything possible, no, I do drive an acura suv. But it is a low emissions vehicle and has enough space for my family despite being a smallish suv – it sure isn’t a Navigator. As soon as they devise a hybrid suv that really effectively saves fuel, I will line up to buy one. The ford escape does not do that much better on highway than my acura.

  14. Stellata says:

    Maybe you feel judged by Susan, but you also seem to have judged this other woman. You have no idea why she left the car idling, and how much SHE reduces her impact elsewhere.

    Also, someone who sees you driving your SUV may wonder why your family of 4 can’t fit in a Prius or some other hybrid sedan, not knowing what else you do in your life to justify why an SUV is ok drive.

  15. samasthiti says:

    I’m glad you feel judged by me Lauren.
    It makes you think no?
    Think up reasons and rationalizations for you own personal behavior. It’s all hypocrisy, pointing fingers, until you clean up your own act.
    I am not saying I am in anyway perfect. I am saying I am trying to clean up my own act here in my own home before I would yell at people about their SUV’s and how the “safety” of their family is more important than the “safety” of my family, or global warming. Which is one of my pet peeves.

    So whatever. We all make choices that impact others. I don’t feel that our own personal freedom to buy or do whatever we want is ok, when it is causing harm to others….but it’s the American way. We somehow feel we deserve to be able to do whatever we want, because we can afford it.
    It’s a false sense of entitlement…

  16. samasthiti says:

    Oh, and I think idling sucks BTW.

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