How To Start A Car On A Frosty Morning
We've all been there. You're up at the crack of dawn. It's been a bitterly cold night. The car has frozen windows. You are in a hurry - but the battery is cold and the bloody thing just won't start.
...What Do You Do?
COLD BATTERY & ENGINE OIL
It is an all too often occurrence on these dark and bitter cold mornings as we pass through the winter months. As the temperatures plummet your car battery can get very cold indeed and when this happens it begins to produce less current. Less current means it can become more difficult to fire up the engine. Also, as the engine oil cools it too will be under performing - putting an even greater strain on your battery.
TURN EVERYTHING OFF
Make sure you have all your auxilary electrical accessories switched off. To minimise the drain on your battery make sure all other functions are powered off - your radio, wipers, fan, air conditioning etc. Make sure they are all switched off so that the battery can focus on firing up the engine.
LET IT CRANK BRIEFLY
When you turn the key in the ignition - if it is not starting up right away - let it crank for a few seconds. It may just need a few extra moments but be careful not to let it crank over for too long as you may overheat and damage the starter motor. Never crank it longer than 10 seconds.
WAIT AND THEN TRY AGAIN
Be patient. If it hasn't worked the first time you need to let it sit for a couple of minutes to allow the battery to regain full power again. So just hold tight for a minute or two and then repeat the process above.
DIP THE CLUTCH
A nice trick at this point is to try dipping the clutch as you turn the key in the ignition. By lightly pressing down on the clutch you reduce the amount of work the battery has to do and this gives the engine a better chance of starting. It's worth a shot at this point.
CHECK THE BATTERY LEADS & TERMINALS
Pop the bonnet and take a quick look at the battery leads. Make sure they are tightly fastened to the battery unit and that the terminals are clean. Loose battery connections and corroded Battery Terminals can cause serious loses in battery power.
CLEAN THE BATTERY TERMINALS
If the terminals appear to have accumulated corrosion damage then they need to be cleaned with a dedicated Battery Terminal Cleaner. Take care when working on battery terminals - wear gloves and disconnect the battery cables (negative first) beforehand. Follow the instructions of the cleaning product used. When reconnecting battery cables - connect the negative last.
CHECK THE ENGINE OIL
If the engine sounds like it is struggling to turn over - it may need a top up of engine oil. Use the dipstick to check the oil level and if it is low top up with the correct oil for your car and engine. Low oil levels can place a strain on the battery trying to ignite the engine.
ENGINE START AEROSOL SPRAY
If you have tried the above and the engine is still not starting up - it's time to try using an Engine Start Aerosol Spray. This product works by delivering a more combustible fuel to air mixture to your engine allowing it to start more easily and placing less of a strain on the battery. The aerosol is simply sprayed into the engine's air intake for a few seconds and then the key turned once again in the ignition. It really is a very simple and time effective fix.
If none of the above approaches have worked you are going to have to try and jump start the vehicle. This is the last option as it requires quite a bit of time and effort. You will need some specialist equipment - Jump Leads and you should never attempt a jump start unless you are familiar with the process and know what you are doing.
If you need any of the products / equipment mentioned in the article above you can find them on our website at the best prices available online. Take a moment to browse our car starting products below -
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