It’s Cold Outside… and My Car Won’t Start! (Part 1)

When it is December, you would totally expect a cold weather. During the holidays, the weather can definitely mess with your car especially on the with batteries, starter motors, alternators, and so on. For today’s blog, I want to focus on why your car ain’t starting in the cold.

black suv on snow covered road during daytime

Since the battery is the usual culprit, let’s deal with that first. Here’s a list of possible reasons why your car is not working:

It’s usually the batteries.

In any cold environment, the most likely to cause this trouble is the car battery. conditions, by far the most likely cause is the battery. Many winter patrol officers, who are constantly on the road, report that the most of the calls the receive are battery-related problems. Moreover, drivers needed help in jump starting or recharging the battery.

Let’s look at the obvious symptoms.

When you turn the key and you hear a whining noise, it’s probably the battery. Even if you keep twisting the key, a dead battery won’t magically revive itself. Other signs to lookout for are the ignition lights are faint and the dashboard lights may not seem as illuminated as usual settings. You will also notice that you can’t unlock the car using the remote lock. If you notice any of these signs, read the suggested solutions below.

What could be the possible solutions?

First, you can jump start your car… but this step will need 1) jump cables and 2) a working vehicle. If you don’t have access to any of these things, you can call AAA’s Emergency Road Service at 1-800-222-4357. Additionally, you can also call 911 regarding more pressing matters.

How to maintain the battery in order to avoid emergencies during the winter?

You have to remember that the cold environments can affect the chemical processes inside the car battery. Eventually, a cold temp can reduce the battery’s ability to hold a charge.

During the winter season, charge your battery at least once a week if you plan to go on frequent short trips. Older batters even have lesser capabilities. So, expect a reduced performance and anticipate that the battery will quickly drain out.

What are other battery tips that I should know about?

For your battery to work longer and better, you have to do the following steps:

  • Turn off everything, and this includes the lights, the wipers, the A/C, the radio before shutting down the engine. This will avoid any unnecessary battery usage.
  • Inspect your batteries and watch for any sign of corrosion along the clamps and cables. When your car ain’t running, you can even clean the wires and clamps. Just make sure that the engine is off, okay?
  • Before switching the ignition on, make sure everything is off. Be sure you aren’t wasting power on the heaters and the heated seats. This demands a lot on your battery. So, don’t use them when it is not needed. The same goes for DVD players, music players, and other entertainment devices.

For part 2, I will discuss the car alternator so check out It’s Cold Outside… and My Car Won’t Start! (Part 2)