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How To Get Your Car Started In A Subzero Weather

By Expert Author: Parul Shah

If you are unable to start your car in a subzero temperature which has gripped most parts of the country, this is the good time to get your car started in this rigid weather.

NHTSA provides winter driving tips

The best thing to take car in order to start your car in freezing weather is to ensure that the charging system of the car’s battery is in good condition and the engine is operating on the oil recommended by the manufacturer.

According to Mike Calkins, manager of technical services for the AAA travel group's national office, suggests that the performance of your car in extreme weather will improve is an engine block heater or an electric battery blanket is added in the anti-winter battery. In winter, the functioning of car batteries are less effective whereas, the load of the engine is greater as the consistency of the oil is thicker. In case the engine is cranking slowly, then you should check the battery especially is the battery is being operated for more than three years.
He further added that the capacity of the battery reduces in winter temperatures. The electrons within the battery slow down and the chemical reaction within the battery which creates electricity is slowed down when it is cold. Moreover, the charging system and the alternator should also be checked along with the cleaning of the battery terminals ensuring that the cables are under good condition as well.
Making use of the right quality of oil is very crucial because most of the modern engines manufactured demand high viscosity oil like 5W-20 which have the consistency to flow easily in cold weather. On the other side, there are vehicles which demand heavier oils like 10W-30 however, according to Calkins, heavier oils impose strain on the battery and starter motor. Moreover, it can increase motor wear as flowing in a normal rate takes much time.

Installing electric battery blankets can help in reduce or prevent the loss of reserve cranking power that occurs due to frigid temperatures. The prices vary from 425 to that of $100.
Another effective thing can be the engine block heater as its functioning is to provide warn air to the heater which not only defrosts outlets but, makes the engine easy to start as well. Alaska and anchorage are the cities where engine block heaters are used the most. Their prices vary from $150 - $200 inclusive of installation. A traditional way of dealing with cold weathers is to use alcohol-based gas-line antifreeze which tends to absorb moisture within the fuel system however; nowadays they are not much useful. Calkins also refused other traditional methods such as covering the car hood with a blanket or tarp along with parking the car in shelter.

Other recommendations given by AAA related to winter driving includes:
The defroster and the heater should be under perfect working conditions so as to protect the windows and the windshield to get frosted up.
The cooling system should be a combination of water and antifreeze so as to enable freeze protection.

Emergency gear system should be installed even if the car is under proper winter maintenance.

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