Is it safe to open garage door, put windows down, then start engine?

Save ? After open garage door n car window then start engine ?

Huh? If you are asking if you should open the garage door before starting your vehicle? The answer is YES. I would leave the windows up until after I back out of the garage.

In winter I regularly start my car in basement garage and let it idle for a couple of minutes with the garage door shut.
This will probably get declared unsafe though.

Don’t have to declare it unsafe . It is unsafe .


Open the garage door fully before starting the engine. At that point the windows up vs down aren’t much of a factor provided immediately after starting the engine you back the car out of the garage. In normal use I don’t idle the engine for any length of time with the car still in the garage. If there’s any idling going on, the car is completely outside of the garage.

Back in 1947, we had a neighbor that had a new Ford pickup truck. Their house had a detached garage. Every morning, the husband and his wife would push the truck out of the garage. He would then get into the cab and start the engine.

If they both lived to 100+, definitely, that’s what to do :wink:

I got really dizzy myself one time tuning up my truck engine in the winter in Colorado. I pulled the truck halfway out, so exhaust pipe was outside, but I was still in the garage with the engine. Unfortunately the wind direction changed & blew exhaust fumes into the garage with me. It took quite a while of breathing deeply outside in the fresh air before the dizzyness subsided. Some say the after-effects haven’t entirely subsided yet :wink:

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That is nuts…what was the thinking there, just trying to avoid the fumes?

@CapitalTruck. I was 6 years old when we lived next door to these people who rolled the truck out of the garage before starting the engine. We lived in a rental house in town next door to these neighbors. The neighbors consisted of a couple in their fifties and the parents of the wife who had to be in their eighties. They owned a farm outside of town where the younger man worked. He left at the crack of dawn each day.

I don’t think it much matters anymore with clean new cars but I have read that the back drafts with the door open and the car running can fill the garage with fumes. So it’s best to just start the car and drive it outside to let it idle (open the door first of course).

I’m just trying to fathom a reason. Maybe that was how it used to be done?

Don’t idle.

I don’t know of anyone who ever did that. In the winter they just held their breath hoping the car would start, then back it out. Front wheel bearings can get pretty stiff in the winter making it hard to push a car out. I once saw a car going up hill in the snow with the front wheel not turning at all. Just like a sled. I assume the other one was turning or the guy would have slid into the curb.

Not sure if the question is more about the garage door or the windows. As others have indicated, don’t leave it running inside for very long. Carbon monoxide poisoning is really bad and you don’t know it’s happening.

It’s a bad practice to start a car with the garage door closed. Of course you have the carbon monoxide poisoning potential, but eventually you’ll forget and back right into the closed garage door.

I’m not sure the windows closed/open is that significant either way.

You need to explain your question more clearly.

Tom McCahall recommended something of this nature. Turn the engine over by pushing the vehicle in gear prior to starting it in winter time. Seems he thought it reduced the stress on the starter and created less draw from the 6 volt batteries of the era.

Very, very unsafe!!!
Lots of carbon monoxide generated at start up and that will find its way into your house. After start up back the car OUT OF THE GARAGE!!!


Minimize the run time of the engine in the garage.

If the garage door is open before you start the car and promptly get the car out you are fine. Do not adjust the mirror, roll the window down or put the seat belt on if the engine is running in the garage, do all that before you start the car or after it is out of the garage. No big deal if you put the window down before you start the car.

Push button start for me, nothing works unless the engine is running

Wow. Push the car in the winter to reduce the strain on the starter? Starters are cheap compared to body parts. Always someone coming up with something for some odd reason. Maybe needed to fill the column out that month or something.

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