Q: My car isn't starting, it's really cold out. I was wondering how can I start it with this cold weather

asked by on October 13, 2016

My car didn't start this morning, it's really cold out and I was wondering how can I start my car when it's this cold out. I had to jump start my car the night before it started than, but I realized it's the cold weather that is making my car not start
My car has a manual transmission.

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Hi there. Given the description of not being able to start your vehicle, when it is cold and jump starting the vehicle without any problem. This leads me to believe the battery does not have enough cold cranking amp capacity. The engine needs to turn over fast enough to start. This may be nothing more than a weak battery. I recommend having this confirmed by a certified technician from YourMechanic.

In colder climates, many car owners utilize an "engine heater" when parked at night. This device attaches to the engine, usually against the oil pan, or the side of the engine block, and applies a small amount of heat, keeping engine oil warm. Fire trucks are usually outfitted with this wherever they are. Engine oil becomes very thick when cold, kind of like molasses. This increases the friction inside the engine that the starter (and battery) have to overcome when starting the engine.

Even when the engine starts, the increased friction makes an engine struggle to idle and get oil to all the moving parts, accelerating wear. Using an engine heater, which plugs into a standard household electrical cord, and is unplugged in seconds, keeps the oil more "fluid", with less load on the starter and battery and less wear from engine startup. If the problem persists, I recommend having a certified professional diagnose the starting issue so that this can be taken care of.

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