How to start a car in cold | Carpathy — The Car Doctors!

Was your car struggling to start when the cold winters arrived this morning? Or is it that your car won’t start when cold- pretty frequently, not just on a winter morning? Before you start using Google to check for ‘car maintenance or car servicing centres near me’ let us try & understand what could have possibly gone wrong if your car is not starting and the precautions that need to be taken. There could be multiple reasons like using a substandard quality of oil, fuel or battery issues within your car which could be held culpable of bringing up this starting problem of your car.

Let us try to decipher them.

1.Oil & Fuel- Most car manuals will give you information about which oil should be used in your car to give you optimum results. They have performed various tests during it’s manufacture to establish which car engine oil enhances the performance & ensures a smooth start, pick up & an overall amplified performance. But you did NOT follow your car manual. In cold, a substandard oil will thicken more, increasing the viscosity. This makes it’s flow slower & difficult as well as engine needs to put in more power to execute the functions needed from starting the car to get the car running in the second or a higher gear.

For fuels, flow of fuel does not remain smooth if there are blockages in the path caused by ice(if you live in a very cold area)which could have been formed due to presence of water within the flow lines.

2. Car batteries- In cold weather most car batteries will generate less electrical power. This is an inherent problem of most car batteries. The activity of the chemicals which constitute the battery goes down with the drop in temperature as chemical reactions depend on the surrounding temperature.

3. Absent Mindedness- You left your headlights on OR you left the dim light/some other functionality of your car was accidentally kept on within your car which resulted in a complete drain of your car battery.

4. Futile short drives- Your car battery wears down more quickly if you have a habit of taking short/very short drives. If you shut down your car engine before the alternator gets a chance to recharge completely, the life of your car battery goes down & causes your car battery to keep draining frequently. This aggravates the start-up problem your car could face in the cold season.

5. Defective alternator & corroded or loose battery cables- A car alternator is responsible for recharging the battery. A defective alternator with a bad diode dissipates the energy/power & as a result the car does not start the next time.

Corroded or loose battery cables make it difficult to start the engine too, as they cannot transfer the electrical current efficiently.

Possible remedies of Car starting problems-

  1. Car Parking- If keeping your car in a heated environment is possible then nothing beats it! But it would not be pragmatic for most of the people. Hence let’s look at the other options. Try to avoid parking your car in an open space which allows free flow/passage of air. Free flow of air subjects your car to temperatures much lower than what it would be subjected to if it was parked in a closed garage. If you do not have a garage, park it in such a way that either a building’s wall or tree or another vehicle blocks the flow of air after reaching your car.
  2. Fuel & Oil- Go back to the car manual. Check which oil was recommended for best results. Start using that oil. The manufacturers have taken the pain to pinpoint the name of the oil for increased efficiency & made it easy for you. Check with your fuel/gas station or your local garage if they offer some anti-freezing agent or fuel conditioner to combat fuel line freezing.
  3. Ignition of car engine- The method of starting your car should be a bit different in winters. First turn off the wiper, headlights, heater, car lights etc. You need to channelize all the energy & electricity available with your car battery to get your car started. If your engine does not start then let it crank & exert itself for a few(4–5)seconds. Do not try starting a second time, immediately. Wait for at least 1 minute before trying once again. The car battery will need some time to deliver full power again.

If your vehicle does not start or if your car has started but engine sounds weird/slower than normal then try reaching out to a professional who can help you. You can reach out to Carpathy which is a leader in the car repair, maintenance & servicing domain. It is a one stop shop with comprehensive solutions for car service & repairs. At Carpathy, we have a dependable team of experts whom we call the Car Doctors! They are trained & equipped with theoretical knowledge as well as expertise which comes from several years of experience of handling all possible complications that cars can develop.