How long can you keep a car running?

I'm going camping and might need to sleep in the car with the heater on if it gets too cold. How long can you keep a car running before it does damage?

Camping is fun, but sleeping in cold weather is not for everyone!
While it’s not ideal, you can leave your car running idle as long as you have gas without doing any serious damage to the engine. However, be mindful that letting your car run for extended periods can be bad for the environment and may cost you more on gas.
Additionally, you should be okay to stay in your vehicle with the heater on if nothing is blocking your exhaust pipe. If it is, you risk carbon monoxide poisoning.
Since you’re going camping, be sure you have the proper protection for remote roads. A roadside assistance membership with Jerry protects you with their nationwide network of 55,000+ service providers and includes benefits like towing, lockout service, and a mechanics hotline. To find out if you’re eligible, you can check the app or call one of our friendly agents. You may qualify for a special rate of $50 for your first year.
Have fun exploring the great outdoors!
Matthew Macgugan
Answered on Nov 01, 2021

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