Q: My car wouldn't start after being parked in the cold for a few days

asked by on December 20, 2016

Left car, 2013 Honda Civic, unused for several days and there were below freezing cold temperatures. The car wouldn't start but after getting a jump car ran fine, drove it for 20-30minutrs. When I got to destination and parked, car wouldn't start again. After every jump it starts and run fine but once key is out of ignition it won't start back up, automatic door system or electric key doesn't work. Should I try charging battery for a few hours or replace?

My car has 39000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

It’s clear that your battery is dead. If you want to try charging it, you need to put it on a slow charge for 12 hours or more, but I suspect even then it won’t do the job. It was probably marginal for a while and then a few nights in the deep cold were enough to finish it off. When you get the battery changed, you will want to have the charging system tested to be sure that it is OK, but since you can run after a jump, I expect you’ll find that it is all right. Be sure you have a good battery in the car before you test the charging system. If you don’t you might get a false reading. As for jump starting the car. I strongly advise against having anyone besides a professional do that. I have just finished fielding some questions for people who have done a lot of damage to their cars by hooking up the jumper cables backwards, even for a moment. The car’s electronics are very sensitive to the voltage surges that come with jump starting a car. To conveniently have your battery replaced, you can contact Your Mechanic, they can send a technician to your home or office to replace your battery and see what else might need attention.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Does the alternator and starter work together

No, they do not work together. The starter motor relies solely on stored energy in the battery to function. It is only after the engine actually starts and runs that the alternator can provide power to vehicle systems as well...

Car shut off and remained unresponsive since then - 2010 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid

Hello. The PCM is a potential cause of the problem that you are experiencing. The PCM is the main computer for the car and could be malfunctioning. There could also be a problem with the electric motor of the hybrid...

My charging system light is on

It could be that you bought a bad alternator. There are a lot of companies that are rebuilding them that don't do a consistently good job. But if you bought your alternator from Honda it should be OK. The alternator...

Related articles

Honda Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Car Program
If If you have been shopping for a used Honda vehicle, you may want to check out cars under their certified pre-owned program. Many manufacturers have a certified pre-owned (CPO) program, and each one is set up differently. Read on...
The Top 8 Things That Will Drain Your Car Battery
Your car battery could keep dying from a variety of reasons such as age, a bad alternator, human error, and more.
How Do I Prepare My Car for Summer?
Summer's Summer's heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic will take their tolls on your vehicle. Follow these tips to ensure optimum wellness of your car: Air Conditioning: Have your air conditioning inspected by a qualified technician. Newer models have...