I’m in Kentucky and Warmed Up My Car…Did I Break the Law?
Somehow--who knows why--the inside of a car on a cold morning just FEELS colder than the outside air. And it's not, of course. It certainly wasn't this morning.
WARMING UP YOUR CAR ON A COLD MORNING
I've always hated sitting in my car waiting for it warm up. Sometimes my teeth chatter so furiously, I'm afraid I'm going to chip them. I can't stand it. So, like so many of you, this morning I started my car--it was in the carport--and then went back in the house to finish getting ready for work.
Some of you might already be shaking your finger at me. Yes, I'm aware of a Kentucky law prohibiting what I've just described. But here's the thing--legal or not, SHOULD we be doing that?
EXPERTS TELL US WHY WE SHOULDN'T IDLE OUR VEHICLES
Keep in mind that I watched multiple videos, and they all told me the same thing--do not idle your car to warm it up on a cold day. This man's explanation was very technical but also came through loud and clear. More to the point, I finally got an explanation as to WHY this practice should be abandoned.
So, it's plausible that fewer people warm up their vehicles ahead of time than ever before. But back in the day, in the age of carburetors, it was a different story.
IDLING YOUR VEHICLE IS ILLEGAL...UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES
You'll notice neither of them addressed the myriad laws that are on the books across the country that forbid letting your vehicle idle.
Here's why I did not break the law when I did that today. KRS 189.430 states:
No person operating or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand
unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition and removing the
key, nor allow it to stand upon any perceptible grade without effectively setting the
brake and turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway.
That phrase "and removing the key" is why I'm in the clear. I have push-button start on my vehicle and don't need a key in the ignition. Also, I can lock it remotely when it's running, and I am good to go. I sincerely love technology; makes me glad I lived this long.
So yeah, as long as you can leave it running without the key in the ignition AND you can lock it up, you're in the clear. But then let's go back to our experts who tell us, "Nah, I wouldn't if I were you."
And so I won't. From now on, I'll drive to work...and hope that, at least, my teeth chattering will match the beat of the music on the radio.