Yesterday was the first day this fall/winter that I had to turn on the defroster, in my car. We know winter will be here eventually, and we’ll handle it. Where I live, I am at the mercy of the elements.
I don’t have a garage, so I have to hope that my car doesn’t get too cold and starts every morning. I’ve heard the saying, “Warm up your car on the road, not the road”. So I started thinking, am I allowed to heat my car if I’m not in it? Can I go back to my place, let the car warm up for a while, and get out a few minutes later?
My car does not have an automatic start. It is very old. Yes, it’s a good old fashioned key. It won’t warm up quickly for a 4-cylinder. But a lot of residents in my neighborhood park on the street, unlike our parking lot. This is the key. If you have a remote starter, you don’t have to be in the car to start and warm it up.
If you want to idle your car on the street in Missouri, it’s completely legal. A running car cannot be left unattended. You can get tickets. If necessary, give it 30 seconds and drive it anywhere. Your car will warm up faster if the car is moving. Bundle up. Why do you do this? Make it famous advises that warming up your car “doesn’t prolong the life of your engine; in fact, it shortens it by removing oil from the engine’s bearings and pistons.
Now, if there’s a road or a parking lot, you should be fine, but if you’re standing on the street, put on your gloves, winter hat, heavy coat, make sure your car’s gas tank is half full, and say turn it on, give it 30 seconds, and drive to your destination. As for the driveway or the parking lot, I don’t think the police are going around looking for abandoned cars in parking lots to ticket them.
But don’t tempt fate. Just bundle up and send. Your car will thank you.
See: The worst heatwaves in each state’s history
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