(WAND) – It might not be the smartest thing to "warm up" your car this winter, according to mechanical experts, state laws and police departments.
According to America’s Transportation Research Institute, you can’t let your car sit with your engine running for more than 10 minutes in any 60-minute period in several cities and counties in Illinois.
The law does say that there is no limit if it’s less than 32 degrees out or greater than 80 degrees out.
The places included in Illinois are Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, McHenry, Will, Madison, St. Claire and Monroe counties. Cities include, Aux Sable, Goose Lake and Oswego. Chicago has their own city ordinance for idling vehicles.
If you are caught fines start at $90 for the first offense and $150 for the second and any others in a 12-month period. In Chicago, the fine is $250 on any offense.
According to Illinois House Bill 4782, the purpose of the law is to protect public health and the environment by reducing emissions. The laws apply to any driver of a diesel vehicle.
Chicago’s ordinance also applies to diesel vehicles and limits idling time to three minutes within a 60-minute time frame.
Experts also say idling your car strips it of oil, if you let your car sit for more than a minute before you drive.
Gone are the days where you need to let your engine “warm up” before driving it, either. A few seconds to get everything into gear is really all you need, since your car, both under the hood and in the cabin, warms up faster when moving.
Another reason to not let your car idle is police departments say car thefts are a common thing in the cold months. They say it’s an annual problem, people leave their car running with keys in the ignition. They say this is a preventable crime.