It takes some getting used to to drive your car when it’s cold outside. There is a lot to do: warm up the car, clear snow or ice from the roads, and wait for the windows to clear.
When it’s warm outside, all you need is open windows or a working air conditioner to stay comfortable. However, when bad weather comes, you need to plan for and avoid problems.
Bad weather can make it hard to start your car, and if you don’t take good care of it, you might not be able to get where you need to go. Even though you can’t change the weather, there are things you can do to protect your car so that you don’t have any problems in the future.
So, what’s the coldest it can be for a car to start?
As long as the cold hasn’t drained the car’s battery and the fuel lines haven’t frozen, which can happen between -40 and -200 degrees Fahrenheit, your car will probably start.
Also, if you take care of your car in the winter, it will last longer in the long run. So, we’ll talk about the tips and tricks you need to know to start your car when it’s cold. This way, you’ll know when it’s too cold to start your car.
Why Your Car Won’t Start
Cars are affected in many ways by cold weather, and even though starting your car shouldn’t take much work, it does when the weather is colder.
The car battery still has to do the same thing to power the car, but it has less power because it is cold outside.
Cold batteries can’t produce as much power as warm batteries can, which could make it hard for your car’s electrical system to get the power it needs to turn on.
Also, cold weather can make the oil in your tank thicker and less likely to move around.
If your car has been sitting in freezing temperatures overnight and your battery is already cold, the combination of a weak battery and thick engine oil can make your car not start at all.
In rare cases, your fuel lines could also have water in them, which could freeze and stop the fuel from flowing.
Gasoline is made up of a lot of different chemicals, so different parts will start to freeze at different temperatures, from -40 to -200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Most of these parts freeze at -100 degrees Fahrenheit, so it has to be REALLY cold for them to be a problem.
When Is Cold Too Cold?
The engine oil, fuel, and battery can’t handle a lot of bad weather, but most cars can. Even when it’s freezing outside, which starts at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, most cars can still start up fine.
The exact temperature varies from one car to the next. Some cars with more powerful engines and good maintenance can start even when it’s 0 degrees outside, while others would have trouble as soon as the temperature reached freezing.
Some cars might even be able to start in temperatures well below zero, but that depends on a lot of different things.
But even though cars can start at these temperatures, it is much harder for them to do so. So, when it gets cold enough to freeze, you need to take care of your car to make sure it will be fine for the whole winter.
How To Start The Engine When It Is Cold
As soon as it starts to get cold, you should start taking extra care of your car’s engine and battery to make sure it starts every time.
There are things you can do to keep your car from having trouble starting in the winter, like giving it regular maintenance and using a different kind of oil.
#1 – Lower Your Power Use
Since starting your car takes a lot of energy, you should save as much as you can so that it can focus on getting going.
This means that you should turn off the lights, the heater, the radio, and the headlights.
This will make it more likely that your battery will be able to start your car without having to turn on any other electrical systems.
Once you start your car, you should wait a minute or two for the engine to warm up before turning on any of these systems again.
#2 – Dip Your Clutch
If you have a car with a stick shift, you could try dipping the clutch as you turn the car on.
This can lower the amount of power the car needs from the battery just enough to help it start better.
But this can’t be done in a car with an automatic transmission. So, if you drive a car with a stick shift, you can’t try this trick.
#3 – Double-Check The Battery Leads
Since your battery is a big part of getting your car started, it makes sense to check the leads. You should check to see if they need to be cleaned really well or if they are loose and need to be tightened.
If the wires are loose, they could stop the flow of electricity, which would stop the car from starting. If they need to be cleaned, the crust that builds up around the lead could be causing the power to go down.
You only need to tighten the leads if you think they are too loose. But you should clean your leads for the winter even if they aren’t that dirty.
This will keep your battery from getting in the way of its best work. To clean the leads, take them off and use a toothbrush and a mixture of water and baking soda to scrub the area.
Tip: It’s important to remember that the leads should be taken off one at a time, starting with the positive one and ending with the negative one. When you put them back, you will also connect the negative lead last.
This will stop the current from giving you a shock.
#4 – Fill Up On Oil
During the winter, your engine oil can get thick and make your car harder to move. This makes it harder for the battery to start the car because it has to do more of the work itself.
If your oil is full, it will be easier to start your car. Not only can low oil shorten the life of your battery, but old oil can also make your engine run less smoothly.
So, if you don’t want your car to be hard to start or not start at all this winter, fill up at the start of the season.
#5 – Get a Jumpstart
If you’ve tried everything else and nothing seems to work, you might need a jumpstart to finish the job.
This should be the last option because if the cables aren’t hooked up right, it could cause damage.
But if you have done it before and feel comfortable doing it, it can be a good choice when nothing else works. But if this doesn’t work, you’re really out of luck.
How to Jumpstart Your Car
If you’ve never done it before and want to jumpstart your car, here’s how to do it right.
Take the red cable and connect it to the positive end of your battery and the same end of the other car’s battery.
Then, connect the end of the black cable to a metal surface on your car that hasn’t been painted and the negative terminal on the other car.
Start the other car and let it run for a few minutes before you start yours.
Once you start your car, you are ready to go.
How To Prevent Non-Starts
If you don’t want to feel upset when you turn your car key and don’t hear the engine start, you should do everything you can to make sure your car is in good shape for the winter.
1. Change Out Your Battery
During the winter, your car battery will have to work much harder to start your car. If you’ve noticed a slight drop in power or checked the voltage and found that it’s low, you might want to replace the battery.
This is not a cheap thing to do, especially if your current battery still has some power in it, but it will keep your car from not starting in the morning because of the cold.
2. Fill Oil Early And Often
Your engine has to work hard to start, and it has to work even harder when the oil level is low. If you see that your oil is getting low, you should fill it up.
If you do this regularly, you will always have enough oil for those really cold mornings. Also, if you do this often, you will notice it more often and be able to avoid many problems.
In places where it gets below freezing in the winter, your car goes through a lot of wear and tear. After a long night in the cool air, a cold morning can make it hard for your car to start.
With these tips for starting your car and preventing it from not starting, you can keep your car from not starting in the cold and keep its power for the rest of the season.