Idling Cars, Trucks, and Other Engines

When a car, truck, or other vehicle is left idling (when the vehicle’s engine is turned on, but the vehicle is not in motion), it can affect the air that people are breathing nearby. Vehicle emissions are known to contain pollutants that can contribute to asthma, heart disease, and other serious health problems. The smell from an idling engine can also be annoying and cause headaches and nausea.

In California there are rules that limit how long diesel trucks can idle. Most trucks are only allowed to idle for up to 5 minutes. To report idling trucks, visit the CARB website or call the California Air Resources Board at 1-800-952-5588.