We don’t often think about how the temperature outside can affect our ability to start a car. But if the temperature is cold outside, then it may cause problems when you attempt to start up a vehicle.
People who drive in northern environments usually experience cold, snow, and icy weather conditions during the winter and possibly other times throughout the year too. The cold temperature makes it more difficult for a car battery to generate the necessary electrical current needed to power the starter motor. Without that electrical current being strong, you’ll end up with a weak startup or no startup at all.
To make matters worse, the cold temperature will also make your engine oil much thicker. This means that it will be more difficult for oil to circulate throughout the engine if it is too thick. As a result, your engine’s components won’t be lubricated properly and will likely start getting damaged. Then you’re looking at thousands of dollars to repair or replace these components or your entire engine.
In rare cases, water inside your fuel lines will freeze and turn to ice. This will create a barrier which blocks fuel from entering your engine. If fuel cannot enter your engine, then power cannot be generated for the wheels underneath the vehicle.
5 Simple Tips
As you can see, cold weather can have a detrimental effect on your vehicle and the ability to start your engine. That is why you need to know the best way to keep your car strong and viable in cold weather conditions.
Below are the top 5 tips for starting your car in cold weather.
1) Use the Right Oil
It is essential that you put the correct type of oil in your engine. The general rule of thumb is to use 5W30 oil because it is thinner than the standard 10W30. If you use a thick oil like 10W30, then the coldness will just make it even thicker. Therefore, 5W30 will flow more freely within the engine while it is cold outside.
2) Keep the Vehicle Parked Indoors
To make startups as easy as possible for your vehicle, you should keep your vehicle indoors when it is parked. If you have a garage or shed that is big enough to house your vehicle, then park it in there. This indoor space will shield your vehicle from the colder temperatures outside. Then you won’t need to worry about the cold affecting the startup at all.
3) Low Power Startup
Turn off all the electrical accessories in your vehicle before you attempt to start the engine. This will take the pressure off the battery so that its power is only used for the starter motor. If you have the battery powering several other accessories in the meantime, then it won’t have as much power for the starter motor. During cold weather, you’ll want to conserve as much power as possible to ensure a successful startup.
4) Engine Cranking
When you insert the key into the ignition and twist it, don’t keep twisting for longer than 5 seconds. This is what a lot of people do when they don’t hear the engine turn over. The problem is you might exhaust your starter motor with too much heat if you do. Just twist the key for a few seconds and stop. Wait 1 minute and then twist for another few seconds. Keep doing this, and you should get the engine to turn over soon enough.
If your battery simply cannot generate a strong enough electrical current, then you’re going to need a jump start from another vehicle which has a strong current in its battery. All you need is jumper cables and both cars parked next to each other. Now connect the cables to the respective batteries and try starting your engine.