Is it illegal to warm up your car unattended in Minnesota?

Now that we are heading into winter, there are a lot of things we need to remember to do. This includes taking the time to shovel the driveway, scrape snow and ice from your car, and… start your car to warm it up?

My dad always told me it was okay to do that for a while… but is it? Is it legal for us to start our cars to warm them up while we’re not there? The answer is complicated.

Photo by Danny Sleeuwenhoek on Unsplash

Photo by Danny Sleeuwenhoek on Unsplash

According to an article by SCS, in Minnesota, is it only legal to preheat your car if you have a remote starter. Although no state law prohibits it, most cities have local ordinances against it, especially if your car requires the key to be in the ignition and unlocked.

CBS notes that it really depends on the city. In St. Paul, if you “start your car with a key and drive away, you could be fined. And in Minneapolis, they allow three minutes of idling before you can be fined $200 $.

For Southern Minnesota, I read that Rochester City Ordinance 11-6-9 makes it illegal to park a passenger vehicle on a street or lane with the vehicle running unattended. As far as Faribault, Owatonna and Northfield are concerned, there really is no ordinance against that. However, it is extremely inadvisable to do so.

If you choose to warm up your car and drive away, your insurance company might not cover the loss if your car is stolen. I would suggest if you need it, do it when it’s super cold and for just 3 minutes (and keep an eye on it)!

All information cited is credited to the article by

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I was recently recommended this Airbnb, and now I’m dying to go, so I thought I’d share it too. The 16’x20′ cabin is located between the forest and Lake Superior. It also shares the property and driveway with Agua Norte Loft which is a casual vacation rental about 4 miles from Grand Marais, but the cabin contains a stunning private view of Lake Superior so you’ll never really know it’s there. there is a loft.

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