Can You Legally Warm Up Your Car Unattended in San Angelo?
The first frosty morning of the season has arrived in San Angelo. To me, cold mornings always seem quieter. Maybe it's because the birds don't seem to be quite as noisy when it's cold.
For many, nothing is worse than getting into a cold car and driving to work.
As a result, many have a routine. You head out to the car, start the engine, and while the car is warming up pop back into the house and warm back up. The car warms up and you stay warm. It is a win-win.
Well, in Texas it is actually illegal to leave your vehicle running unattended. According to Texas Transportation Code 545.404:
Unattended Motor Vehicle states a person may not leave a vehicle unattended without stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key from the ignition, setting the parking brake effectively and if standing on a grade, turning the front wheel to the curb or side of the highway.”
If you are lucky enough to have a keyless car, then the law does not apply to you. Technically, as long as you have the key fob on your person, the car is not "unattended".
Sadly, the first thing that's going to happen when you report to police that your car has been stolen from your driveway while warming up unattended is that YOU are going to get a ticket. San Angelo Police can fine you if your car is stolen while it is warming up unattended because it is illegal to do so.
Talk about adding insult to injury.
As high as gas prices are these days, is it even necessary to let your car warm up before driving it on cold winter days? The short answer is "no". If your car is fuel-injected, like most vehicles made after 1995, allowing your car to idle for more than 30 seconds doesn't help. In fact, it can be harmful.
I know how hard it is to get started on a cold morning. For me, my life changed when I bought a car with heated seats. There is nothing like that warm butt sensation when you sit in your car. Although, if you get them too hot, you can end up with "chapped butt syndrome". It is very real.
Perhaps I'll publish a story about that soon. It is something you won't want to miss.