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Cold weather is the culprit for your car problems


By Alyssa Ouellette
Presenter, Beat the Traffic
@Alyssa_BTT
Friday, January 24, 2014, 12:19 PM

This winter has been interesting to say the least. In the last few weeks we’ve seen temperatures drop as low as minus 30 degrees, only to rise well above the freezing mark. These drastic weather conditions can cause some serious issues in regards to your vehicle. Perhaps one of the most common and frustrating winter-related problems would be vehicles refusing to start. 

There are several reasons for your vehicle not to start. In sub-zero temperatures your vehicle’s oil becomes a lot thicker, which means it has to work a lot harder to start the engine. The cold also has a deteriorating effect on your car battery. Silvana Aceto from CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) South Central Ontario says, “The cold and frigid temperatures can drain the power from your vehicle’s battery.” 

There are a few ways that you can prevent this from happening. The easiest way to keep your vehicle’s engine and battery warm is to park indoors. For those of us not so fortunate to park in a garage there are a few other options.


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If your car failing to start is a frequent problem, it may be worthwhile to have a block heater installed in your engine. Once installed, all you have to do is plug it into a wall socket and it helps heat your engine, battery and oil. Another preventative measure is to keep your gas tank full. In extremely cold temperatures, your fuel lines could freeze and the easiest way to prevent this is to not let your car sit overnight with an empty tank. If your car has already been sitting outside in sub-zero temperatures all night, there are a few techniques you can try to get your vehicle up and running. Aceto suggest that “before you attempt to start your car, make sure you have turned off all your accessories including the heater, radio and lights.” This will give your vehicle maximum starting power. If all else fails, try giving your vehicle a bit of a break. Go inside and warm up for fifteen minutes before trying again. This will give your car battery a chance to recover. 

Winter can really take its toll on your vehicle. Try some of these preventative measures before the next cold front moves through your city. It could just be the thing that gets you to work on time!

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