#10- Don’t idle your car when you first start-up…at all!
If you live in temperate climates and there’s nary a bit of snow outside, you shouldn’t idle your car at all. Even if you live in parts of the country that DO snow during winter, for three seasons out of the year, temperatures don’t creep enough below zero where a bit of idling is warranted.
If say temperatures are below 32 F/ 0C, then you actually should idle your vehicle for say 30 seconds to get the oil into vital engine parts that need lubrication. Then after idling for 30 seconds, you should immediately start creeping your way onto your city street and slowly bringing up that operating temperature to where your engine will be most efficient.
The most common rule of thumb was that for every 30 minutes of idling, you’d burn about 1/4 gallon of gas, but in reality that number is way to high. It really depends on your engine, idle RPM and outside temperature as well as other factors. Smaller four-cylinder engines typically use .1-.2 gallons per hour. If the average American idles their car a good 5 minutes every time, over 251 working days (in 2016) that’s 20 hours of your car sitting there. For a small car, that’s three gallons of gas out the window every year.