If you're braking your car for more than 10 seconds-that is, anywhere except in traffic-turn off the ignition key. Not only does this have minimal impact on the starter life, according to Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN), but idling for more than 10 seconds also gobbles more fuel than it would take to restart your engine, while wearing out your engine a lot quicker. Idling gets zero miles per gallon, spewing greenhouse gases and smog-causing toxic pollutants in its wake.
Even if Old Man Winter is breathing down your neck, says NRCAN, you can drive away after 30 seconds of idling if you've kept your windows defrosted. The best way to get your engine in toasty shape? Propel your auto onward at moderate speed.
Tip: To keep windows frost-free for several months, coat the outside panes with a solution of three parts vinegar to one part water.
Difficulty level: Easy