Safety and legality of winter weather car hacks

MADISON – We’ve all been there: you’re running late to work and only half-scrape your car’s windshield. However, not only does that make it harder for you to drive, but it’s also illegal.

The fine in Wisconsin is a hefty $175 for not fully clearing all your windows. The steep ticket comes from concerns over the obvious, visual impairment, but also the risk of snow or ice flying from your car and hitting another vehicle or person.

Another common winter practice is starting your car several minutes before you drive so that it can heat up. However, most mechanics actually advise against it, as doing so strains the engine.
Instead, try starting it just 30 seconds early, then bundling up to drive; the car will heat up faster when it’s accelerating.

Not to mention, starting the car and then sitting in it for that half-minute means your car is not idling with the keys in the ignition while you’re inside.