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Q: Car won't start in colder weather

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I have a 95 Chevy cavalier and I noticed that when I started it..it would drag a little. Then one day I got in it and it wouldn't start. All the lights work fine..all my gauge lites work fine, it dings when you put the key in but when I turn it over, it does nothing...no ticking...nothing. I tried to jump it over and it didn't work. I had a friend tell me it was my starter but it wouldn't even turn over when you tapped it with a hammer. Then one day I went out to start it and it started right up..but I noticed it was warmwr outside and it stopped cranking when it was really cold. I drove it and shut it on and off all thruout the day and then the next morning it had gotten colder out and I went to start it and nothing. ..I'm really confused on what it could be. Plz help lol
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi There, As you may already know, car engines and batteries typically do not do as well in colder weather for a few reasons. When the engine sits for an extended period of time in cold weather, the oil inside the motor becomes very thick and is much harder to move when it comes time to start the car. This requires a bit more current from the battery than it normally would in warmer weather. To make things worse, the battery itself does not produce the same amount of energy that it normally would when the weather is warm as the chemical reactions that generate electricity are slower at a lower temperatures.

Your issue may be one of a weak battery that is causing the motor to turn over slowly. It may also potentially be a starter relay that is beginning to fail. The starter relay directs power from the battery to the starter solenoid which then engages the starter when you turn the key. When this is not working properly, you may notice intermittent starting problems including no response when turning the key to start. Generally, when this does fail, it does so very randomly and usually without warning other than intermittent starting much like you describe. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and replace your starter relay.

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