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 Southern New England, 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.