How often should I start my car in cold weather? It is, in particular, a myth that you’d turn on your car “n” several times in cold weather to keep it running.
In reality, the number of times you’ll start your car doesn’t matter in front of what you do after starting your car.
That is, merely idling your car in cold weather for the sake of warming the engine was a crucial thing to do in the 1970s.
However, it’s not necessary with modern cars that have fuel injectors for this purpose.
Today, idling your car means wasting fuel, causing pollution, and improperly warming your car.
Hence, you shouldn’t only focus on starting your car but on what you tend to do after starting it in low temperatures.
It also includes some critical things to mind during cold weather that can affect the car’s battery and the engine. So, let’s dive deeper into this.
How Often Should I Start My Car In Cold Weather?
Your car’s battery is its most crucial part and the most neglected one too.
Come the chilling winters and the care requirements of a battery take a whole new turn.
In winters, especially when it’s biting cold outside, you have to invest more to keep the battery alive by one of the simplest ways of taking the car for a short drive regularly.
Considering the battery’s condition and age, you should either start the battery daily followed by a quick drive or weekly starting is also suitable for new and healthy batteries.
Here, you’d remember that it is further essential to park your car inside a well-heated garage to assist the battery in starting and running smoothly every morning.
Things to keep in mind during cold weather
As said above, your car and its battery require special care during the chilling winter months.
It is because a battery loses 33% of its power during the winter months, and that’s a primary reason behind your car’s failure.
To keep the car & battery up and running through the frigid winter, here are some tips right from the experts’ cabin.
1. Test the battery for any issue that may aggravate during winters
Practically, a standard car battery has a life of around 3-5 years.
However, most car experts feel that as soon as the battery completes its 3-years, it’s always the best time to test it. It is more common if the temperature outside is too low or too high.
Wintertime is the most common time for batteries to die and other electrical connections to let you down.
Hence, get the car battery tested before winter set in, including the various connections to and from the battery.
Note that even if your battery is over 3-years but healthy, getting it tested isn’t a bad option.
2. Clean the connections & battery terminals
During winters, it’s common for you to take your car for a drive less frequently than in the summer months.
It may prove beneficial for everything else like the environment, fuel, and much more, this is not the case with your car’s battery.
The more time the battery sits without starting or running, the more the chances of crumbling down.
A common symptom of an unhealthy car battery is the build-up on and around the battery terminals and consequent corrosion.
Hence, if you cannot start your car even though it’s brand new, you might check it for any build-up on or around the terminals and corrosion.
Both these not only eat your battery power but make it challenging to start the battery.
Look out for any corrosion outbreak around the battery or build-up of debris near the terminals. Besides, don’t forget to check the fasteners, cables, and connections.
Ensure all connections are neat and tight as loose connections will weaken the charge of the battery.
3. Take the car for a short drive regularly
You may not feel the need to step out in biting winters. However, your car’s engine and battery need to beat the brunt of low temperatures.
Taking the car on a quick 15-20 minutes drive charges the battery and adequately heats the engine on its excellent health.
Note that just idling the car isn’t a good option due to its various disadvantages mentioned in the beginning.
It would help if you also kept jumper cables handy. It is because jump-starting your battery may also come into the picture for a dead battery.
4. If everything fails, you need to replace the battery
If you’re having consistent problems with the battery and it’s over 4-5 years since you last replaced the battery, you’d not waste further time checking on the battery.
Instead, install a new battery.
You might get lucky for a short time with the old battery; remember that it could die out any moment, leaving you in a roadside emergency.
Hence, replace the worn-out battery at the earliest as it’ll only add to your convenience.
5. Never park your car outside
It’s a no-brainer that parking your car outside will only worsen your current situation.
Keeping the battery or the car warm enables it’s quick starting the next time you decide to hit the road in your car.
When talking particularly about winters, look for a well-heated garage, shed, or any other closed area to park your car.
If parking under an open shed, don’t forget to cover the car with a thick covering to protect it from chilling weather.
So, these are the top ways to look after your car, especially the battery in the frigid winter months.
Should I start my car every day in cold weather?
Whether it is wise or not to start the car every day in cold weather will depend upon several factors.
For example, take notice of the battery’s health and condition. If your car battery is okay and not much old, you can avoid starting the battery daily.
In another case, if the battery has crossed 3-years and has started causing issues, you should start the car to charge it regularly to keep it running.
Else, the battery may surrender due to lack of power.
Besides, the car’s parking place will also govern whether you need to start it daily or not.
That is, if you’ve parked the car in a garage or any other closed space, their warmth is enough to keep the car and the battery in fine condition.
Hence, you don’t need to start or drive the car every day for a similar purpose.
As a thumb rule, remember that the sole purpose of starting a car in cold weather is to keep the engine slightly warm and battery-charged.
If you can achieve these two without starting the car daily, it’s the best you can do for your car.
Humans may relish the winter months, but your car may not agree with you on this.
Out of all the weather, winter is the only season that negatively affects the car, its engine, and its battery.
According to the experts, your battery loses its 33% power/charge even without being used.
Not only this, the stubborn myth of idling a car in winters is another major evil factor that acts as a devil for your car.
It is because idling only results in corrosion on and around the battery area as it causes condensation around the metal parts.
Hence, you’d refrain from idling your car in winters and take it on a quick drive of not more but at least 15-20 minutes to warm the engine and charge the battery till the next drive.