As a kid growing up in Missouri, I learned fast to understand the difference between my parents asking me to do something or them telling me to do something. That lesson is coming in handy as I can tell that Missouri wants me to stop unnecessarily idling my car engine - or else.

This topic came up as I heard there are actually laws that can get you busted if you idle your vehicle engine in an unnecessary way. There are even some states who vigorously enforce it. Missouri hasn't reached that point - yet. But, I've found numerous warnings from the state about issues and problems you can create for yourself when you idle an engine when you don't need to.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has a very stern "No Idling" website that lists all the places where you can't idle a heavy-duty diesel engine without penalties. They say there are limits in St. Louis, Jefferson, Franklin, St. Charles counties and the city of St. Louis. In the Kansas City area, there are restrictions in Clay, Platte and Jackson counties.

Here are the limits on idling on those areas:

  • 5 minute period per hour - all Missouri counties
  • 3 minute period per hour - St Louis County

The state of Missouri also has another idling warning site that makes the case for saving gas and the environment by eliminating idling. They say that turning your car off takes less gas than idling your vehicle for just 10 seconds. They also say that it's much harder on your engine to idle than to restart it multiple times claiming it only costs $10 in engine wear per year to restart more than you idle.

The anti-idling movement has become such a thing that there are people in some parts of the country who are making big bucks reporting trucks that idle more than 3 minutes.

I expect the pressure on drivers to idle less to only increase. Right now, they're asking and sort of telling. Sooner or later, Missouri will be telling you to not idle unnecessarily - or else.

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Gallery Credit: Atlas Survival Shelters via YouTube

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