Minnesota Winter: How Long You Need To Warm Up Your Car
In Minnesota, folks let their cars warm up for two key reasons. First, it's about making the winter commute more bearable by ensuring the car is warm and cozy. Second, many believe in letting the engine warm up before driving in cold weather to prevent potential damage. Discover how long you should warm up your vehicle before hitting the road and the right way to do it to avoid fines below.
Is It Illegal to Idle Your Vehicle in Minnesota?
Yes and no.
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Vehicles equipped with remote starts are an exception, as they do not have a key in the ignition. And, warming up your car isn't illegal if you are parked in a private parking lot or driveway, but your insurance company might not cover the loss if your car is stolen.
How Long Does Your Car Need to Warm Up Before Driving?
If you're trying to heat the inside of your car to make your ride more comfortable you might need to let it run for a few minutes, but your engine is ready to go in 30 seconds or less. According to Triple-A you only need to let your vehicle idle for the time it takes you to fasten your seat belt.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says you don't need to warm your vehicle up unless you're driving a vintage vehicle: “Older cars, with carburetors, did need to warm up. Without warming up, the carburetor didn't get the right mix of air and fuel in the engine — and the car could stall. But in the 1990s, car makers moved from carburetors to electronic fuel injection. Fuel injection sensors supply the engine with just the right blend of fuel and air, preventing stalling in cold weather.”
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Gallery Credit: Dunken