Warming up your vehicle on those cold winter mornings is actually illegal to do in some states, but is Indiana one of them?

Practically everyone does it. When you get ready for work each morning during the winter, you go outside and "warm up" your vehicle, go back inside for a few minutes, and then by the time you go back into your car, it's nice and toasty. Let's be honest, nobody wants to sit inside a freezing cold vehicle. Of course, letting your car idle like that to wait for it to get warm inside does play a role on the environment. According to IN.gov:

Only ten minutes of idling per day adds more than 50 pounds of carbon monoxide, particles, nitrogen oxides, and other toxic gases to the air per year. If you idle more than 30 seconds, your car will emit more air pollution than if you turn it off and on again.
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Now, most of us typically don't think about things like that. We just want to make sure that we don't freeze our hind ends off when we are in our vehicle, myself included. However, because of the dangers to the environment, idling your vehicle like that is actually illegal in some states. That's something that not a lot of people may realize. Some folks might not even know if that it is illegal to do in their own state. So, with that being said, is warming up your car illegal to do in Indiana?

Every morning I clean snow off car in winter

Is it Illegal to Warm Your Car in Indiana?

Several states along with many counties and cities have laws that limit the amount of time you can idle (or warm up) your vehicle. Some of these laws say that you can only idle your car for no more than three minutes. Punishments range from written warnings to fines that could cost you thousands of dollars, according to the American Transportation Research Institute. Below, you will find a list of states where it is illegal to idle your car:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
Defrosting ice from car windshield

As you can see, if you live in Indiana, you have no laws against warming up your vehicle during cold winter days. That being said, idling your car for prolonged periods of time is still harmful to the environment. Furthermore, it could also be potentially harmful to your vehicle. According to IN.gov:

Cars are not designed to run for extended periods of time at idle. Idling causes unnecessary wear and tear on your engine and actually results in deposits of fuel residues on your engine's cylinder walls that can contaminate oil and damage components.

So, we have learned two things today. The first of which is that in some states, it's illegal to warm up your car. Know those laws, so you don't get fined in those states. Secondly, in states like Indiana where it isn't illegal to warm up your car, there's really no point to doing it other than you don't want to freeze. Idling your car for long periods of time can cause damage to your engine. Bundle up and let your heat do it's job when you're driving.

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