There’s No Need to Break This Massachusetts Law
The temperatures have been bitterly cold recently making many people want to warm up their cars in the morning. But did you know that idling is illegal in Massachusetts? Fines for violating this law could run you up to $500.
The question you really need to ask yourself in the morning is, should I even bother idling the engine? Short answer: no. It's just a myth about warming up your car that may need busting.
Chapter 90, Section 16A on Massachusetts General Laws, states that "No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the unnecessary operation of the engine of a motor vehicle while said vehicle is stopped." Which, in actuality, restricts engine idling to five minutes or less if you are warming your car or even waiting to pick someone up.
But do you even need those five minutes?
How long does it take for your car to warm up enough to drive?
Luckily you do not need five minutes of idling in the morning. According to Consumer Reports, most modern cars need no more than a minute of run time before they are ready to roll. That is just enough time to lubricate everything in the engine so the cold air does not damage your vehicle.
They also point out to those that like to idle the car for 15-20 minutes that "the fastest way to warm up an engine is by driving." So really, if you start the car, get buckled, punch Fun 107 in on the radio and check your mirrors, you are good to go.
Idling is simply wasting your gas and polluting the environment. So save yourself the time and the potential ticket and only idle for a minute in the morning.