Thursday, December 28, 2017

How to Start Up Your Car on Winter Mornings

BAY CITY, Mich. –– Waking up to freezing temperatures on winter mornings is no fun to begin with, but add in the potential for not being able to start your car because it's too cold, and they're positively dreadful. Most drivers will warm up their vehicles on chilly mornings, to defrost the windshield and warm up the cabin for their commute. Now, you may have heard that it is bad for your engine to warm your car in the morning. While that's technically not false information, there are also positives to warming up your vehicle that will help it run better and avoid internal damage, so long as it's not warming up for a prolonged period of time. So, allow us to explain further, and walk you through how to start up your car on winter mornings.


Over the course of a winter night, as the temperature drops, a number things happen to your vehicle. The battery in your car begins to produce less current as it grows colder, making it more difficult or impossible to start your vehicle. The engine oil in your car also becomes thicker and doesn't flow as well. Circulating through your engine then becomes difficult for the oil and doesn't allow it to lubricating your engine's internal components as well.

To help mitigate the negative effects the cold weather, we strongly recommend keeping your vehicle parked inside your garage if possible. It that isn't an option, even parking in an open carport or under a large tree will keep your vehicle a few degrees warmer than if it was out in the open, completely subjected to the elements. You may also consider getting a battery heater or engine block heater, as this will help your vehicle be able to start up with relative ease in the morning.

So, to properly start your car on a cold winter morning, follow the routine below:

  1. Turn off all electrical accessories such as the headlights, heater, defroster, etc.
  2. Insert the key into the ignition.
  3. Turn the key to "On" position, turning on the display lights and the fuel pump.
  4. Allow for a minute of time to pass so that the fuel pump can circulate fuel through the engine.
  5. Turn the key fully, to start the vehicle.
  6. You should only allow your vehicle idle and warm up for five minutes. This will allow the oil and fuel to warm up and properly circulate so that no internal damage to the vehicle will occur.

If your engine is cranking slowly and does not turn on, you should take it into an auto service center and have the battery checked, especially if the battery is more than 3 years old. Older batteries can't stand up to freezing temperatures and won't  be able to start up your car.

If you have any additional questions on how to start up your car on winter mornings, you can visit the Graff Bay City Service Center to speak with our knowledgeable and friendly service technicians. We also recommend that you complete our Winter Car Care maintenance routine to take care of your vehicle's internal components so they are not compromised, cracked, or disabled by the cold weather. These service fixes will help your vehicle run in top condition all through the winter and help you avoid breaking down on the side of the road in freezing temperatures.

Hank Graff Chevy is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website: www.GraffBayCity.com.

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