What Are Rules About Warming Up Your Car Unattended In Washington State?

With the cold winter months approaching, many of you may be wondering if it is legal to leave your vehicle unattended while warming it up.

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How Long Should I Keep My Car Running Before I Get Into It During Winter?

After all, no one wants to sit in a freezing car while it warms up – especially early in the morning. I'm as guilty as the next person as starting my truck and then running back inside even for a few minutes.

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Washington State law generally prohibits leaving a vehicle unattended while running. This is often referred to as "puffing" – leaving a vehicle running to warm up in cold weather or cool down in hot weather while the driver is not present.

This means that leaving your car running and unattended is not a legal option, even if it is for a few minutes.

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In the State of Washington, you can be charged with a misdemeanor if you leave your car unattended while the engine is running.

If your vehicle is stolen or involved in an accident while it is left unattended and running, your insurance company may deny your claim.

Moreover, there is a risk of the car being stolen by someone looking for a quick theft if the vehicle is left unattended with the engine running.

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Although you are not allowed to leave your car unattended while running for safety reasons, it's still possible to warm it up.

One option is to invest in an auto-start system, which allows you to start and warm up your car from a distance.

Another option is to warm up your car manually - just remember that the engine and transmission will warm up quickest when you are actively driving the car.

The best method to warm up your car is by driving it gently and accelerating gradually.

I know it's a hard habit to break and I'm guilty as well but it's always best to be safe and follow the law of the land.

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