Starting Your Car in Freezing Weather

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How to Start Your Car in Winter Weather

The freezing cold weather in Lynchburg takes it’s toll on all of us, and your car battery is no different.    That’s why it’s important to be prepared for the freezing weather before it hits.  Here are a few quick tips when waking up to that freezing cold before you head out to start warming it up:

  1. If you have driven the car for more than 20 minutes since the last time you started it or within the last 24 hours, you should be good to go but if you think the battery may be drained from sitting around for awhile let the battery work for a few seconds before trying to start the vehicle.
  2. Turn the key to start and hold it for up to 10 seconds. Don’t hold it for any longer than 10 seconds, as overworking the starter can cause it to overheat. If the engine fails to crank, wait a couple of minutes and try again.
  3. If your car does not start after ten seconds, stop and wait a few minutes before trying again. This gives the battery time to recover, and it will warm up a little bit. This also allows the starter motor to cool down.
  4. If the engine doesn’t turn over at all it’s probably dead and you may need to jump it.
  5. If after trying many times the starter is still struggling then you may need to heat up your battery. You can do this by removing it and bringing it inside the house for a bit, but it may take an hour or two to heat up on it’s own in there.

NOTE: For older cars with a carburetor, gently push on the gas pedal while the car is still parked. Depress the accelerator once and then release it. This will dispense a small amount of fuel into the intake, which can help get things going. Note that there is no need to do this with fuel-injected engines and if your car is newer than about 1990, it has electronic fuel injection.

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