Rushing to the store on a cold winter morning is a hassle for many. Not only will you have to put on over five types of clothing, but you also have to deal with your car not starting up.
Indeed, people everywhere, especially those who live in colder regions, most often experience
car issues during winter. And if you’re planning to quickly get somewhere because you forgot to buy your favourite pasta yesterday, your car might have other plans as it sits frozen and unfazed.
Throwing a tantrum will only make things worse. So what should you do? First, you need to know why your car won’t start.
Your car battery slows down in cold weather
In warm weather, you can face problems with your engine overheating, while issues related to car batteries may arise in cold weather.
It’s safe to say that you can’t escape the wrath of nature either way.
In winter, your car battery produces less electrical current than on a warm day. Your car battery’s power is affected since it will receive less current, which is insufficient to start it up.
The most reasonable solution is to turn everything off. Radio, electrical accessories, headlights, heaters should be all turned off.
If your car starts up, then wait a few minutes before turning anything on again since your car battery can shut down in an instant.
Another trick you can use is to dip the clutch slightly as you turn the ignition. This will put less pressure on the battery and would give your engine the fighting power it needs to start up.
Your car engine oil changes in cold weather
What happens to the water in your bottle if put in a freezer?
That’s right, it freezes. It changes its form from liquid to solid. And just like any fluid, your car engine oil also changes and becomes thicker in cold weather. It won’t flow easily through the engine block and will put additional strain on your car battery.
And if your battery is already slow, you’ll have to deal with two problems.
Before starting anything, check your engine oil to ensure you’re not low in engine oil. If you’ve already filled up your engine oil and your car still won’t start, then probably it’s the type of engine oil that’s the problem.
Generally, conventional oils contain waxes that are quickly affected by cold weather and become thicker. Choosing synthetic engine oils can solve this issue since synthetic oils don’t contain waxes and have better cold-flow properties than conventional oils.
Moisture in fuel lines freezes in cold weather
When you have your car parked out in cold weather, moisture from a hailstorm or rainy weather can build up in your car’s fuel lines. In such a case, your car’s fuel lines can be blocked by sheets of ice, especially if the fuel lines are thin.
When it comes to diesel cars, diesel tends to ‘gel’ in cold weather. This factor will impact the power your car will start up since it will take longer for the diesel to reach the engine.
To combat the development of ice, make sure to keep your fuel tank as full as possible. Doing so will reduce the space available for ice formation.
Using thawing additives can also help in easing the passage for fuel to run to your engine. For diesel fuels, using anti-gel can prevent gel formation under cold weather.
Most importantly, don’t forget to use a waterproof car cover to keep out additional moisture and water from melted snow from seeping into your car.
Featured image: Ben Stein/Unsplash