This has been one of the coldest weekends I have ever experienced in the Capital Region. With high's below zero and wind chill taking it to -30 or -40 degrees I really got to know the inside of my home. When it's time to head out, I'm sure your instinct will be to warm up your vehicle. Problem is, you aren't allowed to.

It is illegal to warm up your vehicle in New York State.

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I have been warming up my car literally every day since I had a car to warm up. How could it be illegal to warm up your vehicle in New York or anywhere? It's your car, it's not against the law to start your vehicle, so why would it be illegal to let it run? Especially with the temperatures we have had this weekend.

  • 9am Friday - 10 degrees in Albany
  • 9am Saturday - It was -14 degrees in Albany
  • 9am Sunday - It was 22 degrees in Albany
  • Even though 22 will feel warm it's still below freezing!
Weather app for iPhone
Weather app for iPhone

According to, there are several states that have laws against an individual warming up their car. This action could cause you to be ticketed in Ohio, Michigan, Washington, D.C. California. For us New Yorkers it's a little more complicated.

Under section 1210 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Lawno person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key from the vehicle, and effectively setting the brake.

Getty Images
Getty Images

If you happen to be sitting in the vehicle you won't get a ticket. In New York City you can leave a vehicle idling for no more than 3 minutes before the possibility of a ticket. The fine ranges from $350 - $2000. Will you continue to warm up your car, truck or SUV?

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