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Idling your car in winter can cost you, here’s how to limit it

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Puffing is bad. Not smoking — but leaving your car idling when you’re not in it.

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Most countries have laws restricting the system for environmental causes, and they often employ populations just warming up their cars in the street on a cool winter’s day, but doing it could lose you much more than a ticket. That’s because an unusual number of vehicles are stolen each year with the keys left in them.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), over 81,000 of the 747,841 cars reported stolen in 2018 had their key or wireless keyfob in them. Steam coming out of the tailpipe of an unoccupied vehicle is essentially a “rob me” sign to a savvy crook looking for an easy target.

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While remote starting systems that keep the doors and transmission locked until the fob is present address the security side of the issue if you decide to warm up your vehicle, the NICB has a few tips to prevent thefts that apply whether or not it is running.

  • Always lock the vehicle, take the keys and set the alarm if required.
  • Don’t store a garage door opener in it when parked outside, because that can present an easy way into your home.
  • Never leave your car running in a public place, like a parking lot or curbside.

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