Winter Cold is Here - Be Sure Your Car Will Start

Timely advice from AAA...

Overnight temperatures will be dipping into the mid-teens the next three nights, and while most cars should be able to start, the chill in the air is a reminder to motorists to make sure their vehicles are ready when below freezing temperatures arrive for the winter, says AAA Northeast.

“Preventive maintenance is essential for safe driving and greatly decreases the chances of being stranded in the cold,” said John Paul, the AAA Northeast Car Doctor.

Start with the battery and charging system. Have them tested if the vehicle’s battery is more than three years old. Your vehicle will need a fully charged battery to start up during a cold snap. Even a good battery can lose up to 50 percent of its capacity when the temperatures drop to zero. At 32 degrees it can take up to 35 percent more power to start a cold engine. If your vehicle started with a jump start you have only fixed the symptom but not the problem. A well-maintained vehicle should start in nearly any weather condition.

Don’t forget engine oil and coolant. The proper weight and grade of engine oil will help with cold weather starting. And as a general rule, engine coolant should protect an engine to minus 30 degrees to prevent engine damage.

AAA Northeast is a not-for-profit auto club with 64 offices in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire and New York, providing more than 5.7 million local AAA members with travel, insurance, finance, and auto-related services.

Click here for a video with tips on how to prepare your car for cold weather. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on