AAA Tips: Get Your Car Cold Weather Ready

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

  • 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.

Fuel

  • 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.

Warm-Up

  • 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.

Tune-Up

  • 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.

Coolant

  • 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.

 

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