During the polar vortex, many people around the world were warming up their cars for a few minutes before taking off for the day. However, the question remains, is warming your vehicle before driving legal?
In the state of Maryland, the law forbade drivers from leaving their cars running while not in them. There were exceptions made in 2015 for vehicles on private property. Drivers are able to leave their vehicle unattended for up to five minutes while the car is not in motion.
According to Scott Colom with A1 Auto Three Brothers Car Repair in Baltimore, it is a good idea to warn you car up to get the fluids moving through the engine.
Colom says that during the 1960s and ’70s, cars were designed in a way that required warming them up on cold days. If you didn’t, the cars would not run.
Is Warming Up Your Car Illegal?
Nowadays, cars and trucks don’t need as much time to warm up. The main downside to leaving a running without driving is wasting gas.
However, according to Nicole Monroe, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore Police Department, there are still issues with leaving a car running. The main problem with leaving a car running is that it gives crooks the opportunity to steal the vehicle.
Monroe says that there have been many cases in recent years of people having their cars stolen while left unattended. She says that it is enticing to leave your car warming up for a few minutes. Especially during times when the weather is below negative. However, doing so leaves room for people to steal their car.
There are some cars that turn on and heat up with a remote. These devices tend to turn the car back off once someone without the key goes to open the door.