Letting car idle in cold weather could be illegal


As temperatures dip across the country, you may want to check your state laws to find out if it is illegal to start your car and let it warm-up.

Several states, including Ohio, Texas and Georgia, have laws on the books that prohibit drivers from letting cars idle in a driveway or on a street, WYFF reported.

Law enforcement agencies and insurance companies have been warning drivers for nearly a decade that allowing cars to warm up, unattended, idling outside, as drivers wait inside, is an invitation for thieves to take the vehicles.

>> Read more trending news 

If your car is stolen while you let it warm up, whether it would be covered by your insurance, depends on the company and your policy

If you want to warm the car, legally, while staying warm yourself, one community in Colorado suggests investing in a remote starter. That way, the keys stay safely with you and the car remains locked but running.

How can you find out if idling vehicles are illegal in your state? You can start by checking with the Environmental Protection Agency.

The laws differ by state, and even by municipality. There are laws in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, for example, that say how long a certain types of vehicles can idle and at what temperature.

Even if it is legal to warm up your car, do you really need to let the car run before heading out on the road?
Mechanics say no.

The idea of letting a car warm up comes from old engines that had carburetors. Now, most vehicles don’t have the part that mixes gas and air to make vaporized fuel. Instead, the majority of vehicles built after the 1980s have fuel injection, Business Insider reported.

Experts said that idling a car wastes fuel and wears on the engine.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Florida Little Caesars employee kills man in Halloween mask
Florida Little Caesars employee kills man in Halloween mask

A Little Caesars employee in Volusia County, Florida, shot and killed a masked man who attacked him with a wooden post and scissors late Saturday,  Heriberto Feliciano, 28, was working at the pizza parlor in Holly HIll when he was attacked by a man wearing a "clown mask," police said.  The masked man, who police have not identified...
Marine’s murder in Belize remains unsolved one year later
Marine’s murder in Belize remains unsolved one year later

Brandon Barfield has kept his best friend’s room just the way he left it. Drew DeVoursney’s black suit still hangs in the closet of the West Palm Beach home they shared. And his guitar — the one he used to perform Lynyrd Skynyrd and Allman Brothers songs while they were both deployed in Iraq — rests beside the bed he slept in...
Delta warns of flight cancellations due to subtropical storm Alberto
Delta warns of flight cancellations due to subtropical storm Alberto

Delta Air Lines is warning that it expects it will have to cancel flights due to subtropical storm Alberto. The storm is expected to make landfall just west of Panama City on Monday afternoon with heavy rain and strong wind affecting areas in Alberto’s path, according to Delta. Atlanta-based Delta said it expects delays and cancellations...
15-year-old girl missing since Tuesday in Mississippi, parents want answers
15-year-old girl missing since Tuesday in Mississippi, parents want answers

A Mississippi family is desperate for answers after one of their own, 15-year-old Eileen Betlinski-Brown, went missing Tuesday in Horn Lake, Mississippi. “It’s just way, way, way too real. I guess you call it stressful to say the least. Scary. Not knowing what’s happening,” said Eileen’s grandfather, James Betlinski. Betlinski...
Man, 79, pleads no contest to raping girl, 5, sentenced to 90 days house arrest
Man, 79, pleads no contest to raping girl, 5, sentenced to 90 days house arrest

A California businessman pleaded no contest to statutory rape of a 5-year-old girl Wednesday, and, as part of a negotiated deal with the San Joaquin County Superior Court, was sentenced to 90 days house arrest and will not have to register as a sex offender. Lyle Burgess, 79, of Stockton, sexually assaulted the girl, who is now 7, after her family...
More Stories