Beware, It’s Illegal in Texas to Leave Your Car Unattended and Running
Before you head outside on a cold winter morning to start your car and warm it up, take note. It's illegal in Texas.
I know it's cold, and this may seem cruel, but this is for your protection. The law is in place to help prevent the theft of your vehicle.
Now, if you're lucky enough to have a remote start key-less option, you're in good shape. You can totally enjoy the benefits of that feature.
Things get sticky when your key is left in the ignition. That's when you could get hit with a Class C Misdemeanor and a fine. No, thank you! Take a look at the Texas Transportation Code that deals with unattended vehicles here:
Sec. 545.404. UNATTENDED MOTOR VEHICLE. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), an operator may not leave a vehicle unattended without:
(1) stopping the engine;
(2) locking the ignition;
(3) removing the key from the ignition;
(4) setting the parking brake effectively; and
(5) if standing on a grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway.
(b) The requirements of Subsections (a)(1), (2), and (3) do not apply to an operator who starts the engine of a vehicle by using a remote starter or other similar device that:
(1) remotely starts the vehicle's engine without placing the key in the ignition; and
(2) requires the key to be placed in the ignition or physically present in the vehicle before the vehicle can be operated.