As winter weather sets in and icy winds begin to swirl around Boise, many locals are starting up their cars a little earlier each morning to make sure they’ll be warm and cozy when it’s time to hit the road.  

But we just stumbled across a bizarre winter weather suggestion from old Uncle Sam that left us scratching our heads: don't warm up your car for longer than 30 seconds.

Sound ridiculous? Confused? We are.  

Should Idahoans limit warming up their cars to 30 seconds? 

Well, let's consider the reasons behind the government's suggestion. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, warming up your car for any length of time is unnecessary. DOE says it also releases harmful emissions into the environment.  

While there’s some truth to these claims, we’d sooner call an Uber to shuttle us to work before we’d let our derrières feel the icy sting of a frozen leather driver’s seat. And honestly, what difference will 30 seconds of run-time make on a windshield that's frozen solid? A decade of Idaho winters points to none. 

 

No one hates scraping a frozen windshield more than an Idahoan. 

Anyone who’s ever had to scrape ice off their windshield or shovel snow off their car on a frosty Idaho morning knows the struggle. 

Now matter how you slice it, 30 seconds simply isn't enough time to warm up your ride and defrost your front and back windshield. Depending on how the morning sun does or doesn’t hit your car, some locals might need to warm their car up for 10+ minutes before it’s good to go. 

So while the government may think half a minute is plenty of time, the reality is most Idahoans will need a little more time for their cars pass the toasty test.  

 

Uncle Sam can’t force Idaho to limit their car’s warm-up time.  

The government can make recommendations and send out public service announcements until they’re blue in the face, but it can’t stop us from warming up our cars for 20 minutes if we have to.

Unless the government deploys local law enforcement officers to sit in every driveway and time locals' warming up their frost mobiles, there's no real way to enforce the comical recommendation. 

 

Will Idaho take the government's suggestion on warming up our cars?

We can't speak for everyone, but we won't be following the laughable suggestion. Listen, we get it. It’s important to consider the environmental impact of our actions, and we do. But on this one, we’re going to take it with a grain of salt and warm up our cars until they’re, well, warm. 

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