Engine Repair

Cold Engine Car Starting Problems

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If you find some cold winter morning that your car won’t start, there are two likely suspects; the first is your batter, the second is your oil and water.

One of the facts of life you just have to accept is that batteries just don’t work as well when it’s really cold, or really hot for that matter, so it’s not that cold weather kills your battery, it’s more like your battery was growing weak to begin with, and the cold weather just took whatever it had left in it.

If your battery is old and weak, and prone to running out of juice on frigid winter mornings, there are really only two things you can do; replace the battery, or figure out a way to keep it from getting so cold.

Granted, if you’re running on an old battery, there is usually a reason for it, and that reason is usually due to money being tight; thus, you can’t always just run out and buy a new battery. On the other hand, preventing it from getting so cold on those really bad nights can be a bit tricky as well; though not always impossible. You can take the battery out of the car and put it in the house overnight if you know it’s going to get really cold. Also, they sell home car battery chargers that don’t cost very much. Both of these can surely help you keep your car going through the winter, though it surly is a lot of hassle.

The other major reason for cars not starting on really cold mornings has to do with the oil or water in your car.

The colder it gets outside, the thicker your oil gets, and since oil is used to lubricate some of the more important parts of your engine, that means those parts have more trouble getting moving because the oil has grown so thick. Think of it as butter in a bowl. If it’s warm or hot, you can stir it up with no problem; but if it’s cold, or frozen, you can’t stir that butter to save your life. The way to get around this problem is to change your oil. They have different kinds that are meant for different things. Some tend to not thin up too much under very hot condition, while some tend to not thicken up too much under really cold conditions; if only there were one that would be best of all conditions. At any rate, ask the guy at your neighborhood garage which would be best for your car, and it might just fix your problem.

Water can be another problem in winter, if you don’t have the right amount of antifreeze in your radiator. The water in there can turn to sludge and not move very well, which causes the water pump to not be able to go very well, which makes turning the engine rather difficult. So, check your antifreeze level.

Also, one last thing; sometimes in winter a little bit of water starts to build up in your gas tank, and over time it can turn into a lot, which won’t mix with the gasoline when it freezes in your tank. Put some of that gas tank additive in your tank and that should fix it right up, though your engine might run really rough for a little while.

More about this author: Sam E. Jones

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