The car won’t start in the cold. What to do? – Russian newspaper

An attempt to start the engine after a frosty night ended in nothing. What to do? How to revive a car? “RG” gives step-by-step instructions, including non-template methods.

We warm up

In most cases, problems with starting in severe frost are provoked by a frozen battery. In this case, especially if the battery is old, it makes sense to remove it and take it home or to the garage for heating.

The best option would be to put it near the battery, wrap it in a warm blanket or warm it with a hairdryer. In about half an hour of such manipulations, the electrolyte is guaranteed to warm up, and the battery will be able to give out the current necessary to start the motor.

But if time is running out, you can try to warm up the battery without removing it from under the hood. The best assistant here will be a rechargeable building hair dryer. Before using this exotic device for many, we use the old grandfather method – we turn on the dipped or main beam for half a minute. Such manipulation will start chemical reactions in the battery and prepare it for a successful start of the motor. After that, use the hair dryer. As a rule, it is possible to raise the temperature of the electrolyte for a confident start by supplying warm air in about half an hour.

No hair dryer? You can use a fire hose or a corrugated pipe, for example, from a vacuum cleaner. Here you will need the help of a parking neighbor. The hose is put on the exhaust pipe of his car, after which a stream of warm air is directed into the engine compartment to the battery area.


If you have at least an hour of time and a charger, we go home or connect to an outlet in the garage and put the battery on charge. To recharge the battery in this way, it is necessary to disconnect the terminals from the battery, and connect the charger clamps in their place. Connect plus to plus, minus to minus. A half-hour charge should be enough for a confident start.

In some cases, an even more effective way would be to replace the battery. Yes, just go to the car shop and buy a new battery. Fortunately, not the most advanced models today cost about the same as two refueling cars to a full tank. Either way, it will be a good investment. One battery will remain in reserve in case of severe frosts.

Do not want to clutter up your house or garage with unnecessary details? Then we advise you to buy a much more compact device – a car booster, in other words, a pocket-sized launcher. Many of these models, by the way, are charged via a USB slot, and are comparable in size to a small power bank for smartphones. We cling the clamps to the battery terminals, observing the polarity and trying to start the engine.

Note that boosters, like batteries, come in different capacities. Compact, they are also budget models, they will help start the engine if the battery is still alive. Meanwhile, more expensive powerful models can reanimate even “dead” batteries (when the control lights of the tidy do not even light up when the key is turned).

But we do not recommend such a brutal method as installing a battery from a friend’s car, starting the engine and returning the borrowed battery with the engine running! Such barbarity can still be forgiven by old models, such as Zhiguli and Moskvich. However, in the case of modern cars, it is likely that the fuses or the ECU will blow.

And, of course, no one has canceled the already mentioned “lighting”. The main thing here is to adhere to a clear algorithm of actions. First, we turn off the “donor” engine, as well as the ignition and electrical appliances of our own car. We feed the positive wire of the donor battery to the positive terminal of the battery of your car. We put the negative wire on the grounding pin under the hood of your car. Then we start the “donor” engine, then – the “recipient” engine. We give both machines to work for five to ten minutes, after which we disconnect the wires.

We are looking for other reasons for unsuccessful launches

A dead battery, as you know, is the main, but far from the only reason that the car does not start in cold weather. Alternatively, the engine may not start due to problems with the starter.

The scenario is approximately the following – you scroll the key in the lock or press the start button, and you hear characteristic clicks (or buzzes like an electric drill). In addition to breakdowns of the part itself, in some cases the starter may not work, for example, due to the oxidation of the contact group. The treatment here, by the way, is the simplest – we clean off the plaque with sandpaper, and so that oxidation does not form in the future, we use copper or graphite grease to process the seats.

At the same time, if a relatively fresh battery is installed in the car, but you notice problems with starting the engine in cold weather, then it is possible that the battery is losing its charge, and the alternator is the probable cause here. Additional signs of such a problem may be frequent engine shutdowns immediately after starting, flickering headlights and dashboard. Accordingly, you will have to go to the service to check the performance of the generator.

Problems with starting the engine in a strong minus can also be caused by irregularities in the fuel supply or poor-quality fuel. The latter applies to a greater extent to diesel engines, where diesel fuel becomes thicker in severe frost, and the paraffin contained in it begins to crystallize.

Clogged coarse and fine filters, coked injector nozzles, as well as a decrease in the performance of the fuel pump can also interfere with the normal supply of fuel to the engine. You can eliminate this scenario by asking someone to monitor the presence of exhaust. If a light smoke comes out of the exhaust pipe after the starter is rotated, then this means that there is fuel supply to the cylinders, and it’s not the fuel system.

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