5-Minute Crafts
5-Minute Crafts

How to Start a Car Engine When It’s Cold

When winter comes, car drivers have to deal with a lot of difficulties, like doors and locks freezing, windshield washers freezing, and tough terrain. And one of the most frequent problems drivers have in cold weather is starting the engine. What if you can’t you start your engine and have somewhere you need to be?

5-Minute Crafts is going to tell you how to revive your car when it doesn’t want to start in cold weather.

Why the car won’t start

The cold has a different effect on various car mechanisms. Some of them might function worse than when it’s warm. This is what gets affected the most:

  • Battery: In cold weather, the chemical reactions inside the batteries are slower, which is why they produce less electricity. This can lead to starting problems.
  • Engine oil: When the temperature is low, the engine oil becomes thicker, which makes the battery load even bigger. If the battery already has charging problems, the car might not start.
  • Fuel system: In some cases, there might be drops of moisture in the fuel system, which freeze and block the gas from flowing.
  • Carburetor: Older cars have carburetors with small nozzles that are really sensitive to cold weather. Ice builds up there and doesn’t let the car function well.

How to prevent the problem

  • Try keeping the car somewhere warm. A garage is a good place to protect a car when it’s cold. But if you don’t have one, that’s okay. You can park your car near a big tree or a building. Even on a cold morning, these places are a little warmer than somewhere completely in the open. Or you can buy a special case to cover the car, shielding it from wind and cold. You can also use a car heater for the engine and battery. They can prevent the oil and other liquids from freezing.
  • Use thinner oil for cold temperatures. When it’s really cold, the oil gets thicker, which is why important car parts may not get enough oil. Together with a low battery charge, it might lead to starting problems. Pay attention to the oil viscosity before using it.
  • Watch the amount of liquid in the tank. To start a cold car on a cold day, you need around 40% more oil than when it’s warm. So if you are trying to start a car with a small amount of gas, you might run into problems. That being said, fill your car’s gas tank up. Keep it full to prevent the fuel system from freezing.
  • Check the battery situation before the winter comes. Cold weather can affect the battery performance and be a reason why the engine won’t start. If you have problems with the battery, replace it before winter comes. Experts recommend replacing batteries that are more than 5 years old.

What to do if your car won’t start

  • Step № 1: Before starting the car, don’t turn anything else on. To let the battery work only to start the engine, don’t turn anything else on. Turn off the lights, the heater, and the radio, and start the car.
    ✅Once the engine turns on, let it work for at least a little time, or else the battery might die.
  • Step № 2: Before starting the car, push the clutch. By pushing the clutch, you reduce the battery load. It will make starting the engine easier, even in a cold car.
  • Step № 3: Turn the key and keep it like this for a few seconds. Sometimes, the engine needs time to start. Wait for a few seconds and then return the key to the initial position.
    ❗Don’t overdo it. If the starter works for more than 10 seconds, it might get overheated.
  • Step № 4: Wait for a few minutes and then try to start the car again. If the car doesn’t start after a few tries, it’s okay. Let the battery restore the power and try again.
  • Step № 5: Check the battery. Check the jumpers on the battery. If there are signs of corrosion, try cleaning the damaged parts to make the battery work.
    Wear gloves and glasses for protection. Disconnect the cable from the negative terminal (it’s usually black) and then from the positive one (the one with the red top).
    ❗To avoid getting hit with electricity, don’t switch the disconnection order. Remove the corrosion using an old toothbrush and a mix of water with baking soda. After that, starting with the negative terminal, connect the battery. Try starting the car again.
  • Step № 6: Read the car manual.
    The car manual might contain important advice from the manufacturer to help you start the car in winter faster.
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