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How to Cold Start Your Car

Winter Tire

After the leaves drop in fall, getting your vehicle prepared for winter is an essential part of automotive ownership. There’s nothing more frustrating than coming out to your vehicle to take on your commute from Brockton to Taunton, only to find that your vehicle won’t start! 



Why won’t your car start when cold but starts when warm? If you’ve been asking, “Why won’t my car start when it’s cold?” Silko Honda is here to help! We’ve put together a helpful guide to explain some of the reasons why you might be having a hard time trying to cold start your car. Answer questions like, “What is a cold start?” and more through our service tips and tricks below!

Why Won’t My Car Start When It’s Cold?

If you’ve asked, “Why won’t my car start when it’s cold?” chances are you’re in a pretty frustrating situation. Sometimes, your car simply won’t start when it’s cold but starts when it’s warm. That may just be a result of the cold weather on your vehicle. However, if you can’t cold start your car, there may be other issues at play. Here are a few potential reasons why your car won’t start when cold but starts when warm:

  • Battery Output: Car batteries produce less electrical current in cold temperatures. As a result, car batteries are less efficient in cold climates compared to warmer ones. 
  • Engine Oil: Oil thickens in the cold. This means it doesn’t flow through the engine as efficiently as it should, forcing the battery to work harder than normal. 
  • Fuel Line: Moisture caught in your fuel lines can freeze and cause a blockage. When this happens, the fuel is prevented from flowing efficiently. 
  • Carburetor: Since they have small nozzles, carburetors are susceptible to clogs. While this generally only applies to drivers of older vehicles, it’s still important to keep in mind. 

How to Start Your Car in the Cold

Now that you understand why your car may be struggling to fire up in the winter, let’s go over a few solutions:

  • Shut off all the electrical systems and wait a few minutes before starting the engine since these systems draw energy from the battery. 
  • Dip the clutch when starting your ignition. This puts less strain on the battery, giving you a better shot at starting your vehicle. 
  • Find your battery and perform an inspection. You want to look at the cables and terminals to be sure they’re free from corrosion. If you can’t find your battery, check your owner’s manual. 
  • Check your oil level and add a few ounces if you’re low.

What is a Cold Start Car Jump?

If you can’t get your vehicle running, you may need to perform a cold jump start. Luckily, this process is familiar and easy to follow. Here’s how to perform a cold-start car jump:

  1. Ensure that you have jumper cables and a working vehicle. 
  2. Turn both cars off and put them in park.
  3. Attach one of the red jumper cables to the positive terminal of the good battery. 
  4. Attach the other red jumper cable to the battery of the car that won’t start. 
  5. Attach the black jumper cable to the negative terminal on the good battery.
  6. Attach the remaining black cable to an unpainted metal surface on your vehicle. 

When everything is hooked up, start the vehicle with the working battery. Allow it to run for a few minutes, then shut it off. Start your car. Once your car has started, remove the cables in the reverse order that they were attached. Be sure to let your vehicle run for 10-15 minutes after jump-starting it. If you shut off your vehicle right away, the battery will likely die again.

Service Your Car at Silko Honda

Now that you can answer the question, “What is a cold start?” you can brave the winter weather on the Fall River streets with confidence. If you’re in need of a winter tune-up, book an appointment with us today! Our Raynham team is here to ensure that your vehicle is road ready for every season. 


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