Starting a Car in Cold Weather

2023 Land Rover Discovery driving in snow

As we’re sure you’ve noticed, your vehicle’s performance in may differ in the winter months. When the day is especially chilly, it may make it difficult for you to start a car in the cold. So this may require you to do what’s called a “cold start.” Simply put, a cold start is much the same as a jump start, with the added element of allowing your engine and motor oil to reach a normal operating temperature before you attempt to drive.



For those who aren’t used to the big temperature change, our service center team at %%d_name%% is here to give you all the information you need on starting a car in cold weather. And be sure to contact us to schedule a service appointment if you need additional help!

Why Won’t My Car Start When It’s Cold? 

If your car won’t start when it’s cold but starts when it’s warm, it’s most likely due to the colder temperature. However, it could also indicate a problem with your vehicle that may need to be serviced. Some reasons why your car won’t start when it’s cold could come down to: 

    • Battery Output: Car batteries produce less electrical current in freezing temperatures, which makes them less efficient in the cold. 
    • Engine Oil: Motor oil becomes thicker in cold temperatures, which makes it flow more slowly through the engine and harder to pump through the engine block. This puts additional strain on your car’s battery, which is already weakened by the cold weather.
    • Fuel Line: Moisture in the fuel lines can cause them to freeze, creating a fuel line blockage. If you drive a diesel vehicle, you should note that diesel can gel in the cold, which makes it slower to get to the engine.
  • Carburetor: The small nozzles within carburetors can become clogged with frozen moisture in cold weather, hampering fuel flow. This typically will only apply to older vehicles.

How to Start A Car in the Cold

So what’s the procedure for starting a car in cold weather? Here are some ways to start a car in the cold and get safely back on the roads of %target_city_1%%: 

  • Turn off all electrical systems, as they may be draining battery power, then wait a few minutes before starting your car. 
  • Apply the clutch when starting your ignition. This allows the battery to work less, giving you a better chance of starting your car. 
  • Locate your battery, and take a look at the cables to make sure that they are clean of corrosion. Consult your owner’s manual for battery and cable locations. 
  • Check your engine oil level, and top it off if needed.

Performing a Cold-Start Car Jump

What is a cold-start jump start? A cold start is just like a regular jump-start that’s performed on a car during colder temperatures. Here’s how to perform a cold-start car jump: 

  1. Make sure that you have jumper cables and a working car. 
  2. Turn off both cars and make sure that they’re parked. 
  3. Attach one of the red jumper cables to the positive terminal of the good battery. 
  4. Attach the other red jumper cable to the battery of the car that won’t start. 
  5. Attach the black jumper cable to the negative terminal on the good battery.
  6. Attach the remaining black cable to an unpainted metal surface on your vehicle. 

Once you have everything hooked up, start the car with the good battery. After a few minutes, attempt to start your car. If your car has jump-started successfully, your engine will begin running. You can now remove the jumper cables in the reverse order. Wait about 10-15 minutes to allow your engine to warm up and your battery to recharge.

Get Professional Auto Care at Kempthorn Motors

While the cold weather may be the primary reason for your vehicle not starting, it’s always good to get your vehicle checked by experts to ensure that there are no outlying issues. If it turns out your vehicle’s battery needs to be replaced, take a look at our parts center for the right replacement.

When it’s time to come to our Canton service center for some maintenance or accessory installation help, make sure to explore our accessory specials to take advantage of some of the best deals the area has to offer.

We are currently updating our Specials. Please check back soon.


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