Cold engine doesn’t want to start? There are few things as disheartening as getting all bundled up and braving the cold, only to discover that your car engine won’t cooperate with you. Discover what to do to get yourself on the road again.
Starting a Cold Engine
Vehicles really aren’t made for the cold. The battery,oil and fluids, and even the rubber are all prone to cold temperatures and can potentially fail due to the weather being freezing. Oil and other car fluids get thicker and more sluggish in cold weather, which forces the battery to work even harder. Even your fuel can get sluggish in the cold. But it’s just not possible to keep your vehicle warm all the time, or to always store it in a garage. So on those days when your car doesn’t want to start in freezing weather, here’s the extra steps you have to take.
Step 1 – Turn Everything Off
Ensure your heater, defroster, windshield wipers, headlights, and radio are all turned off. Keeping electronics on when you attempt to start a cold engine will only sap more energy and make it more difficult for the vehicle to start.
Step 2 – Warm Up the Battery
Battery blankets are made to warm up batteries in extremely cold weather, but an ordinary heating pad will do the trick just as well. Heat up an electric heating pad and put it directly on the vehicle battery for just a few minutes to help warm the battery.
Step 3 – Crank the Engine
Turn the key and crank the engine. If it doesn’t start, turn the key back to the off position, then wait a few minutes, and try again.
Step 4 – Jump the Battery
If your engine still would not start, use jumper cables to jump-start the battery. You will require a friend with a running, working car and a set of jumper cables. Pull the friend’s vehicle as close to the hood of your car as possible, then make sure both cars are turned off. Connect one end of the cables to the working vehicle, and the other end to your vehicle. Make sure the positive and negative symbols are matched up. (You will see little positive and negative symbols both on the cables and on the batteries.) Cross-check that positive is with positive, and negative with negative. When the cables are firmly connected, start the working vehicle. Now, attempt to start your own cold engine again. When your car starts, spend a few minutes pumping the gas and letting the engine roar to get the fluids running through the engine and get everything heated back up. Take out the cables—do not let the metal ends touch!—and you are back on your way.