Automotive Repair Blog: Tips, Facts, and Fixes

Say No to Puffing

Did you know that the act of leaving your car running and unattended is called 'puffing'? Each year, Colorado state law enforcement teams shine a light on the risks of puffing by launching an annual statewide educational and enforcement campaign known as Puffer Week. The campaign usually runs the last Sunday of January and lasts an entire week so that the public can be informed about the consequences of puffing their cars. During the week, law enforcement increases their warnings and citations to those caught in the act, with the first offense being around $60.

What Are the Risks of Puffing?

  • Illegal/Ticket - As mentioned before, puffing is unlawful in Colorado. By not doing it, you can avoid hefty fines. 
  • Environmental - Idling your car for more than 30 seconds to a minute is considered unnecessary. If your vehicle is maintained correctly, it should not take longer than that to warm it up. Additionally, leaving your vehicle running for too long results in wasting gas.
  • Theft and Other Crime - The primary goal of this law and Puffer Week is to remind the community that puffing cars contribute to Colorado's growing auto theft problem. Car thefts are also commonly linked to other crimes such as robbery, home invasions, and drug-related offenses. 

More on Car Theft

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 40-50% of vehicle theft is due to user error, including puffing and leaving their keys in their car. While vehicle thefts can occur just about anywhere and at any time, they are more common in the winter when people are more likely to puff their car to warm it up. To avoid auto theft from affecting you, please follow these tips:

  • Never lead your car running unattended
  • Always remember to lock your car
  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Don't store your spare key in your vehicle
  • Keep your valuables hidden or avoid storing them in your car overall
  • Invest in car insurance with coverage on theft
  • Report any signs of suspicious activity 

Next time you are tempted to go out in the morning to warm up your car, you may want to think again. We highly encourage you to take Puffer Week seriously. Not only can it go beyond saving you from paying a fine, but it can prevent the likelihood of car theft and save you money on gas. Besides, leaving your car idling for too long can lead to auto problems in the long run. 


For all your auto maintenance and repair needs, you can always look to the experts at Pro Auto Care!