Car ignition problem in winter: causes and solutions

Car ignition problem in winter: causes and solutions

Car ignition problem in winter

How many times has it happened that you have difficulty starting your car, perhaps not very recent, in winter? Surely at least once you will have made more effort than usual and you will have asked yourself, perhaps, several questions about possible causes and of course remedies. First of all, let's start by remembering that it is always advisable to carry out regular maintenance on your vehicle; at least once a year, go to a workshop to have it serviced. The time interval for coupons is not unique, each car has its own expiry dates generally indicated in the use and maintenance booklet. How does cold contribute to the starting process?

Cold first of all affects the liquids contained inside the vehicle which are different and of various nature, such as transmission fluid, oil , windshield wiper fluid, antifreeze and the fuel itself. In the event of some imperfection in the system, humidity could form and lead to the preventive freezing of some liquids. Also, very cold temperatures tend to affect the electric current; this is a generic discourse that afflicts both the more classic battery present under the bonnet, and the one present inside electric cars as we have analyzed in this study.

As can be easily understood, there are several components involved in starting the vehicle; some of these are usually the first suspects to check in case of problems, others are less frequently involved. In general, most cold weather starting problems are usually associated with the battery or the starter motor, but a distinction must always be made based on the type of power source.

If the car does not start, check the starter motor which is almost always linked to the state of health of the battery. To check the state of the battery it's simple: a first and very simple approach is to turn on the headlights, if they don't work the battery has passed away. If not, the defendant is the motor itself and you need to "unblock" it to start the car. While once it was possible, trivially, to engage the lowest gear and push the car until it started, now this procedure is not only dangerous but also not recommended as it could damage the most recent cars.

Credits: Andreea Popa via Unsplash If instead the moped works and the machine is powered by petrol, it could be flooded. Here the problem could involve various components but the quickest check to do is to press the gas pedal all the way down and try to light it again.

On diesel, on the other hand, the problem could be linked to the failed ignition of the glow plugs. An easy remedy, without exaggerating, can be to turn the key half a turn and "urge" the action of the glow plugs; you can't be wrong, the reference icon relating to the glow plugs will appear on the dashboard. In the event of extremely cold climates, the paraffin contained in the diesel could even freeze and here there are very few remedies: wait for it to thaw and then go to a workshop to add a specific additive so that the problem does not recur.

How to avoid some problems?

As we anticipated, a good rule of thumb is to carry out regular maintenance. In addition to this, we recommend that you always check the fuel level which, in the event of a low quantity, could lead to the draft of any bottom which could "aggravate" starting the car. In case of holidays in extremely cold areas, such as Livigno where it is not difficult to find temperatures well below 0°C, it is advisable to use the correct additives on diesel cars so that the fuel does not freeze. The latter generally contain a certain amount of cetane which improves starting even in winter.

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