When the summer heat is cooking the inside of your car, the last thing you want to do is sit in it before it cools down. Leather seats or not, anything you touch in a hot parked car will make your skin sizzle. Especially the seat belt buckles... OUCH!

You'd think the answer is simple, crank the air-conditioning and step outside the car for a bit. Even though it's only the opposite of turning on your heaters during the winter, both are actually illegal to do in New York.


Get Ticketed for Cooling Your Car

Leaving your car running to cool off is against Section 1210 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Laws, if your car is left unlocked. This is true even if it's in your own driveway.

No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key from the vehicle, and effectively setting the brake...

Sure, maybe we've heard this before. But it's the summer and I could still roll down my windows at least, right? No harm, all while the car is still cooling off.

Still No!

Regardless of what you do, your car is still at idling and letting off emissions.


You also run a higher risk of car theft by leaving your vehicle both running and unattended. Just keeping your car unlocked poses a risk to your car or belongings to get stolen. Having your keys in the ignition makes it that much worse.

What are the Exceptions?

The only vehicles that are allowed to be left unlocked while unattended are emergency vehicles. The officer, firefighter, or paramedic could be needed at any time, so they are the only exceptions to that.

Read More: Warming Up Your Car Not Only Illegal in NY, It Harms the Car

There is one way YOU can cool your car without being inside it.


Get a Car Starter

This is the only way you can get the AC cranking in your locked car, without getting a ticket. The reason why comes from the "locked" part I just mentioned. The only way to keep your car securely locked and running is with a car starter.

Unless you're a weirdo who carries a spare on hand.

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