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How Can I Make Sure My Car Starts in Cold Weather? [LIST]

Jump Starting a Car
Steve Niedorf Photography/Getty Images

You can bet the million dollar question in Sioux Falls, on a day like today when the wind chills are hovering around that 35 below zero range, is going to be, will my car start when I get ready to go home from work?

Hopefully, the answer will be yes and your car will fire right up. But if it doesn’t, here are a few things you can try before having to call someone for a jump start or a ride home:

  • Add some Gas Line Antifreeze. This is a chemical (essentially Methyl Hydrate) that is added to your gas tank to inhibit your gas line freezing. If your gas line freezes, your car will not be able to start until it thaws.
  • Use a “block heater” (if you have one) in conjunction with a “battery warmer.” Both can be very useful to keep the engine warm and ready to start.
  • Periodically start your car throughout the day. Let it run for brief periods of time to help condition your vehicle to the cold. Be careful not to lock your keys in the car!
  • If your car does not start up with ten to twenty seconds of cranking, stop attempting to start it for a minute or two to let the battery recover. That will allow the starter motor to cool down. Then attempt starting the vehicle again in a few minutes.
  • Still no ignition? Give it just a little push on the gas while safely in park. Sometimes injecting a little fuel can help start things.
  • If the starter turns very slowly, or not at all, your battery is probably dead. It’s now time for a jump-start, or a call to a roadside program for help.
  • Once you get the car started, remember you need to defrost your windows before attempting to drive the vehicle.

Good luck! Try to stay warm!

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