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Milwaukee police: When temps turn bitterly cold, do not leave your car running while unattended

MILWAUKEE -- Dangerously cold temperatures are not only bad for you but they're also bad for your car. You might think it is a good idea to step outside, fire up your car and let it warm up for a few minutes while you wait inside your home. But officials say it is a violation of city ordinance to leave your vehicle running while unattended.

The Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) tweeted on Thursday, Jan. 24 a reminder to people who own vehicles.

Not only is the practice of leaving your vehicle unattended a violation of city ordinance, it is also an easy way for thieves to steal your vehicle.

"The last thing we want is for you to be stranded and for someone else, other than you, to drive off in your car," said Sgt. Sheronda Grant in the Twitter video posted by MPD.

With a cold snap on the way, folks are getting their vehicles prepped.

"The last thing you want to do is get stuck somewhere when the windchill is 20 below zero," said Nancy Concannon, Washington Heights resident.

On Thursday, Nancy Concannon was inside Matt's Foreign Car Specialists on Milwaukee's west side.

"I decided that I need new tires. With this kind of weather, and the black ice, I wanted to make sure that all of my tires are doing well," said Concannon.

Concannon says she wants to get ahead of the cold snap heading our way.


"It is serious, and should be taken seriously," Concannon said.

Something mechanics in the auto shop praise her for.

"Sometimes people forget what may be coming," said Dennis Galanis, Matt's Foreign Car Specialists.

From a car's exterior turning brittle, to the engine, batteries, and mechanisms inside of it failing.

"Locks, windows, anything power-operated you have to be careful. Car has to be thawed before trying to use any of that stuff," said Galanis.

What about those cars that are left buried under snow, now turned into ice?

"We bring the cars in that are filled with snow. Cars that have been out on the road, we got to spend time, clean them up, hose them down,"

An achievement easier said than done.

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