Warming up your car before you head out on a cold winter morning is certainly tempting. But is it legal to do so in Michigan?

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Michigan Man Rails Against 'Ridiculous' Ticket

Remember Taylor Trupiano? He's the Michigan man who brought the topic of warming up your car front and center when he got a ticket from Roseville police for pre-heating his car outside his home in 2017.

Trupiano railed against the ticket, posting it on social media where many showed support by calling the citation ridiculous.

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Turns out the cops were well within their rights. Michigan law (at that time) prohibited leaving a running vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition - even if that car was parked on private property.

A Change to Michigan Law

Michigan law has since changed, allowing motorists a little more flexibility. In 2017, House Bill 4215 amended the law, rescinding the wording that made the practice illegal "in any place." This allows for vehicle owners to warm up their vehicles in their private driveways without risk of penalty.

However, the legislation states that it is still illegal to leave an unattended running vehicle on a public or private roadway or parking lot. The use of a remote starter does allow for vehicles to be left unattended in parking lots as long as the vehicle is locked and the keys are not present.

Still Not a Good Idea

Although Michigan law now allows for vehicles to run unattended in private driveways, police warn against the practice because it's an invitation to thieves.

Remote vehicle starters make it easy and legal to warm up a vehicle in a parking lot or driveway without increasing the odds of theft.

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