I know idling the car wastes gas but which is worse, idling for 5 min while I talk to my friend or turning the car off, talk for 5 min, and then restarting again? This can also be applied to idling while the car is being washed by those automatic car washers (takes like 3-4 min for the machine to do its thing), waiting in line at the drive thru McDonalds, drive thru Walgreens pharmacy, drive thru bank teller.
This hit me this past month because I did this several times with friends; chat for a short time (literally 5 minutes) with them while my car was running, and then instinctively turning it off to continue the conversation because I was told not to idle so as to not waste gas. Then my friends gave varying advice regarding this. I wouldn't call my friends car experts like you guys so I yield to your feedback.
Argument for idling:
1. Restarting a car often will wear the car out faster in the long run because the starter is being used a lot.
2. It takes more gas to start the car than it takes to idle.
Argument for shutting it off:
1. No gas wasted like idling does.
2. Engine is running without you going anywhere. Those rotations of the engine are counted in the computer on newer cars and thus will make you bring the car in earlier (mileage-wise) since you're not going anywhere while idling.
So, which advice/myth is correct? Thanks ahead of time to the community for your input.