Baby, its cold outside!
On a cold winter morning, getting up and moving is the last thing you want to do. Believe it or not, your car feels the same way. While you may want to pull the covers over your head and give your car the day off, you know that calling in sick because it is cold outside won’t be looked upon favorably by your boss.
It’s inevitable that both you and your car have to learn how to deal with the sub-zero temperatures that winter weather brings. We can’t motivate you to get up and around, but we do have tips to help you get your car started on those frigid mornings.
Tips for starting your vehicle in cold weather
Turn everything off:
Your battery needs to focus all its energy on starting your vehicle, so help it by turning off all electronics such as the radio, heater, defroster, headlights and windshield wipers.
Try to start your car:
Turn the key and hold it. Let the engine crank for about 10 seconds, but don’t hold it any longer – you don’t want to overheat or flood the engine. If the engine doesn’t crank, let the engine rest for a few minutes and try again.
If your engine is close to starting, but sounds slower than normal, give it another break and try starting it again. If it doesn’t start after a few tries, you can remove the battery from the car and take it inside to warm it up. After it has had a chance to warm up, place it back in your vehicle and see if it will start.
Time for a jump:
If you aren’t comfortable removing the battery or if you aren’t able to get your car’s engine to turn over, jumping the battery is your best option. Check out this article for step-by-step instructions on how to jump start a car battery.
Preventing cold-weather engine trouble
There are some things you can do to ensure that your vehicle starts on those cold winter mornings.
Check the battery:
Ensure that your battery is in good condition and has enough cold cranking amps for the area where you live. Your trusted mechanic can test your battery to make sure it is ready for another winter.
Shield your car:
Keep your car protected from elements by parking in a garage. If you don’t have a garage, parking under a carport, tree or next to a building can provide a measure of protection.
Heat it up:
If you live in an area that experiences especially cold winters, investing in a block heater or battery heater will keep your engine warm overnight. This can mean the difference between getting to work on time and having to wait for a tow truck to give you a jump.
Keep the oil flowing:
Check your owner’s manual to ensure that you are using the right motor oil. Using the correct oil ensures that it will freely flow to all the critical parts of your engine.
Keep the water out:
Putting a dry gas additive in your fuel tank helps remove water from gasoline to prevent your fuel lines from freezing.
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