It happens to drivers every winter – head out to the car on a frigid winter morning, only to find the car won’t start. According to AAA Northeast, there are ways to get your vehicle winter-ready.
Check the Battery
- AAA reminds motorists that one of the best ways to protect against winter car trouble is to be certain your battery is fully charged and in proper working condition.
- The most common sign of a weak battery is an unusual sound coming from the starter motor when the ignition key is turned, indicating difficulty in starting the engine.
- AAA recommends motorists have batteries tested to closely monitor their condition, especially batteries more than two years old.
- Oil is the lifeblood of your car’s engine and this is never more true than in cold weather.
- Oil that is dirty and contaminated will tend to be sludgy. It is this sludgy oil that makes the engine harder to turn over and start when the temperatures drop.
- Use the type of oil that is recommended in your vehicle owner’s manual.
- Keep your car’s fuel tank at least half full in cold weather.
- Near empty fuel tanks are more likely to collect condensation. This condensation can freeze in the fuel lines and cause stalling or no starting in frigid temperatures.
- Extended warm-ups are not necessary.
- In cold weather, allow the car to run for a minute and then drive/accelerate slowly until the car comes up to operating temperature.
- Follow your vehicle owner’s manual for tune-up recommendations.
- Cold temperatures compound existing problems.
- A car that is slow to start in 50-degree temperature may not start at all when the temperature dips below zero.
- Antifreeze (engine coolant) should be mixed at a 50/50 ratio with water.
- This will protect your car’s engine to 35 degrees below zero.
More Winter Weather Resources:
- Hypothermia & Frostbite: Know the signs and how to prevent them
- The invisible threat: How to spot black ice on roadways when wintry weather hits
- Winter Weather: Fire and Carbon Monoxide Safety
- Storm Ready: Disaster Kit
- Winter Weather: Take precautions during winter storms
- Winter Weather: Know the Signs: Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Winter Weather: Winter Emergency Car Kit
- Winter Weather: Tips to avoid roof collapses
- Winter Weather: Vital Safety Information for Extreme Cold
- Winter Weather: Is the Ice Safe?
- Winter Weather: Frigid temperatures can be deadly for pets
- Winter Weather: Before Winter Weather Hits