Hidden Cost Drivers: Engine Idling

Did you know engine idling wastes more than half a gallon of fuel per hour? That same hour of engine idling also equates to roughly 30 miles/48 km of engine wear and tear.

In simple terms, engines were not designed to sit still. Instead, efficiencies happen at cruising speeds when the engine is at its optimal operating temperature, allowing for complete combustion of fuel.

Idling does not allow the engine to reach this optimal cylinder pressure and temperature which results in significant fuel and maintenance expenses, including but not limited to:

  • Excessive fuel spending
  • Contaminated engine oil/sludge
  • Accelerated engine wear
  • Premature spark plug replacement
  • Drivability issues due to additional carbon build-up on valves and piston rings
  • Higher levels of emissions
  • Exhaust system damage including catalytic converters (gasoline) and diesel particulate filters

So what can you do to combat these expenses? Focus on driver behavior. Establish and communicate a well-defined idling policy for your drivers. Combine that with advanced data solutions. When organizations create an idling policy, shifts in driver behavior lead to meaningful reductions in total cost of ownership and greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, telematics and data management solutions provide a method of monitoring driver behavior to curb excessive idling. Fleets can now monitor idling to know which drivers are not adhering to the policy once it is put into place and either correct poor behavior or implement a gamification program to motivate drivers to change.

Engine idling is just one of many hidden costs that drive up fleet operations. To learn more about additional cost drivers impacting fleets and what you can do about it, click here to download our free white paper.