With the cold weather in the Tri-States, many car owners are warming up their cars and letting them run for a while. But you might want to think twice about that in Illinois & Missouri.

This morning when I came to work, I sat in my frozen truck for a while and waited for it to warm up and I about froze. Why not just leave it running and wait in the house? If I left it running and a police officer drove by I could get a ticket...a $120 ticket. In the state of Illinois, it is illegal to warm up your car with your keys in the ignition and walk away.

The reason is simple: your car could get stolen which would lead to an even bigger headache. Or worse, a child could come by and get hurt. It's simply a matter of safety.

Now if you have an automatic car starter (which I do in my other car), you're all set simply because your keys are not required to be in the ignition when its running. In a lot of newer cars, your doors must be locked before you can even start your automatic car starter.

So to avoid a unwanted ticket, maybe take that $120 and invest in an automatic car starter.