Car Maintenance in Winter: Expert Tips to Keep Your Vehicle Running Smoothly
Winter is here, and for many regions, that means icy mornings and chilly temperatures. It’s not uncommon for vehicles, whether they run on petrol or diesel, to have trouble starting in the cold. But fret not; there are ways to prevent these winter car-starting woes. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind winter car starting problems and provide you with practical solutions to keep your vehicle running smoothly even in the coldest of weather.
Why Do Cars Struggle to Start in Winter?
1. Thick Engine Oil
In cold weather, engine oil thickens, making it harder for the engine’s pistons to move up and down. This increased resistance puts extra strain on the starter motor.
2. Reduced Battery Capacity
Low temperatures can diminish a car battery’s capacity, making it less efficient at delivering the necessary current to the starter motor, resulting in starting difficulties.
3. Fuel Combustion Issues
Cold weather can hinder the proper combustion of fuel in the engine, causing prolonged ignition times, which affects petrol cars more than diesel ones.
How to Prevent Winter Car Starting Problems
1. Regularly Check Your Car Battery
Ensure your car’s battery is in good condition by checking its charge level. It should read above 12.6 volts. If it’s below this threshold, consider replacing it before winter sets in.
2. Shelter Your Car
Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a garage or under a covered structure. This protects the engine and battery from extreme cold and reduces starting issues.
3. Jump-Start Your Car
If your car refuses to start, you can jump-start it using another vehicle’s battery or a portable jump starter. This will provide the necessary current to kickstart your car.
4. Engine Preheating
In extreme cold, you can use engine block heaters or an electric blanket to keep your engine warm. This helps in quicker and smoother starts.
Don’t let winter catch you off guard with a non-starting car. Take proactive steps to maintain your vehicle, ensuring it starts smoothly in the coldest of temperatures. By checking your battery, sheltering your car, and employing preheating methods, when necessary, you can ensure your vehicle remains reliable throughout the winter season.