How to Cold Start a Car
Tags: Cold Start
Colder winter temperatures may make starting your car difficult, but these tips will help ensure its engine keeps running without suffering damage:
Temperature-induced battery current decreases, meaning the chemicals within don’t provide as much power to start up your car.
1. Turn off all electrical accessories
Cold temperatures can wreak havoc with your car’s starting system. To keep its batteries charged for starting, make sure all electrical accessories, such as radio, headlights, and heater are switched off to focus their charge solely on engine starting.
Your battery must produce more electricity to start the engine when the temperature drops, because chemical reactions within it take place more slowly. An older or less-than-ideal battery may be unable to cope with this additional burden and be degraded over time.
Low engine oil levels can also be an issue, as this makes it harder for the spark plugs to generate power and start your engine. Be sure to regularly monitor your oil levels, replacing any old winter-grade oils as necessary.
2. Turn on the key
Turning on your key sends electrons flowing throughout your battery to start your engine, mobilizing pistons and spark plugs alike.
Your engine and oil can take longer to start up in winter due to being chilled from cold temperatures, which is normal; your car needs time to reach its ideal operating temperature before it can fully begin operating efficiently.
Prevent this from happening by using a block heater, parking indoors and keeping your battery charged – these simple precautions could save you the struggle of starting your car each morning and give a sense of pride that only true petrolheads can enjoy!
3. Crank the engine for a few seconds
Engine and oil temperatures are significantly colder than ambient temperature, leaving your engine with insufficient heat to efficiently combust fuel. A quick crank helps get oil flowing more freely so your engine can function normally again.
If you’re concerned about damaging the starter motor, don’t crank it for more than 60 seconds at a time; that way, it will have plenty of time to cool between uses.
Crank your engine for too long and its spark plug could overheat and fail, necessitating replacement of both starter motor and spark plug, which is an expensive procedure. Cranking for several seconds after driving hard will help your oil circulate better and protect against engine damage.
4. Wait a few seconds
Cold temperatures can wreak havoc on your car. They make starting harder and cause oil levels in your engine to deplete faster.
To prevent this, it’s wise to wait several seconds after starting the car for engine and gearbox oil to circulate, giving time for your car to start idling normally and protecting its starter from becoming overheated.
If you want to save even more time, Bradex Easy Start may help by making the fuel/air mixture more combustible, helping your engine start more easily. But be careful not to spray too close to your spark plug as this could damage it; if necessary, ensure all residue has dried before starting your car.
5. Turn off the engine
Cold temperatures take their toll on car batteries. To crank your engine over, the battery has to work harder, while electrical systems like spark plugs also experience more resistance at these chilly temperatures.
Jumping right in and driving off immediately is harmful to the vehicle as well. Doing so doesn’t allow time for its engine to warm up properly and operate efficiently, which could affect its performance in other ways.
At low temperatures, engine oil has difficulty reaching all the moving parts effectively and only starts lubricating after several seconds of starting your vehicle. Therefore, switching to an oil that better accommodates cold conditions could be one way of protecting your engine and prolonging its lifespan.