Idling is better than restarting
Myth: Starting a vehicle uses more fuel than letting the engine idle.
In fact, an idling car is a fuel-wasting car. “Idling uses more fuel than stopping and restarting, and it’s not even close. That’s why stop-start technology is the coming thing,” says Edmunds.
Start-stop technology shuts off the engine when the vehicle is at rest — such as at a traffic light — and restarts it when the gas pedal is pushed.
The technology has become a staple on hybrid cars, Edmunds says. “It’s probably a fourth of their [mileage per gallon] magic, maybe more,” he says.
That doesn’t mean you should manually turn off your vehicle at stoplights — that’s an obvious safety issue, Edmunds says.
Also, normal starters without start-stop technology were only designed for a handful of starts a day, and ignition switches can wear out as well, he says.
How to save: If you’re going to be stopped for more than about five minutes, turn off the engine to save fuel, Molla says. He also advises avoiding jack-rabbit starts and sudden decelerations to save on fuel. “Drive like you have a raw egg under your right foot,” Molla says.