How Not To Freeze Your Car To Death

As the temperatures drop I found my car wishing it was back in the warmth that was Virginia. It’s wheel groans with every turn and it seems to crave the sun light as much as I do. I try and take care of it though as it sits outside every day, but some who have never lived in cold temperatures with cars or are new car owners might not know some of the prevention tips of properly making sure a car doesn’t freeze out in the frigid temperatures.

Keep your gas tank and other fluids full:

When the temperatures drop freezing can happen. To prevent fluids such as gas, oil or windshield wipers not to freeze like my hair when I was a kid and would go outside after taking a shower, make sure that these tanks are more than halfway full. If your gas tank isn’t kept above the halfway point, condensation can build and then freeze in the gas tank. Even though your bank account may hate you for filling up your car when it’s only halfway empty, it’ll hate you even more when your car can’t start.

Allow it time to run:

A car’s joints can become cold and stiff if not run regularly. When it’s really cold, letting a car run for 10-15 minutes before driving can help it warm up. Even if you aren’t going to drive your car that day, letting it heat up when it is really cold will also keep the oil tank from freezing.

The battery:

The cold, like with humans, can drain a cars battery. To prevent this you can turn off your radio and even heat before leaving the car, and for a couple of minutes after starting the car, until it has a chance to warm up. In other more northern places I’ve lived in people have plugged in their batteries to houses to prevent further drainage as well. Make sure, just in case it does happen, that you have jumper cables in your car at all times so if your battery does drain and you need to jump your car you can. Mechanics do advise to change out a car’s battery every three years.

If a car doesn’t seem to want to start:

In the cold you may need to hold the key in the ignition for up to 10 seconds.  Make sure if you hear the clicking noises after three times of turning it, don’t continually try and turn it because you can end up hurting the engine more. To help loosen some of the gears in the car, you can hold for one second your gas pedal to rev the engine a bit and allow all the gears to move before starting it, but don’t do this for long or too often for it can also hurt your engine. Jumping your car can help as it’s most likely your battery that has died. Make sure that everything that is using battery is off before trying to jump start a car.

Remember to walk it:

Don’t let it just sit for a week out in the cold. The inner workings of a car need to be used and loved. Don’t let it sit unwanted. Your car can benefit from a thirty to an hour drive. Go for food, listen to some music with your friends. Once your car warms up it’ll be as nice as if you’re sitting in your warm room. If it’s too icy to drive, at least turn it on, dig it out a bit, make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t covered and let it sit for a good fifteen to thirty minutes to warm up.

Like your own body, your car isn’t too fond of the cold, but it can survive if taken care of. Walk it, make sure its gas tank is full and most of all be safe while driving.