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

Why do cars have such a hard time starting in cold weather? This can be a big problem for people living in the north, especially those in Alaska. There are three main reasons cars have a hard time starting when it’s cold.

The first reason is because gasoline, like other liquids, evaporates less when it’s cold. When you pour water on a hot sidewalk it will evaporate much faster than the same amount of water poured on a cold, shaded sidewalk. Gasoline must be vaporized to burn, so when it’s really cold, gasoline evaporates so slowly it is harder to burn it.

Some people spray ether into their engines in cold weather to help them start. This is because ether evaporates better than gasoline at lower temperatures. Heating the engine area will also help the gasoline evaporate better.

The second reason it’s hard to start a car in cold weather is because the oil gets thicker. Just like cold pancake syrup is thicker than hot syrup, cold oil it thicker than hot oil. It is harder for the engine to push around the cold, gooey oil, so it is harder for the engine to spin and get going. Synthetic motor oils can help with this problem.

A third reason is because batteries also have problems when they are cold. A battery is full of chemicals that produce electrons. The reactions inside the battery are considerably slower when it’s cold, so fewer electrons are produced.

This means the starter motor on the car has less energy to work with as it tries starting the engine. This makes the engine crank slower. Add this to the cold oil and cold gasoline problems, and you can see why it is so hard for your car to get going.

Putting all three of these problems together can make it impossible to start your engine when it is really cold. Some options are to keep your car in a heated garage or use a block heater to heat your engine. Utah auto repair facilities can help you find these little heaters that you can plug into the wall to keep your engine warm.

Specialists at Utah auto repair places can help you determine if you should switch to synthetic oil. They can help you know which oil is right for your car in the winter weather conditions. Utah auto repair technicians can help you with all your vehicle’s cold weather needs.

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08 Dec, 2010

Auto Repair

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