Is it Illegal to Warm Up Your Car Unattended in Minnesota?
Now that we are heading into the winter there are many things we need to remember to do. This includes making time for shoveling the driveway, scraping the snow and ice off your car, and… starting your car to warm it up?
My dad always told me this was okay to do for a bit… but is it? Is it legal for us to start our cars to warm them up while we are not in them? The answer is complicated.
According to an article from CBS, in Minnesota is it only legal to pre-warm your car if you have a remote starter. While there is no state law that prohibits it, most cities have local ordinances against it, especially if your car requires the key to be in the ignition and unlocked.
CBS notes that it really depends on the city. In St. Paul, if you “start your car with a key and walk away, you could be fined. And in Minneapolis, they allow three minutes of idling before you can be fined $200.”
For Southern Minnesota, I read that Rochester's City Ordinance 11-6-9 makes it illegal to park a passenger vehicle on a street or alley with the vehicle running unattended. When it comes to Faribault, Owatonna, and Northfield, there really are no ordinances against it. However, it is extremely advised that you shouldn’t.
If you choose to warm up your car and walk away, your insurance company might not cover the loss if your car is stolen. I would suggest if you need to, do it when it is super cold and for only 3 minutes (and keep an eye on it)!
All information quoted is credited to the article by cbsnews.com.