Starting a car in the winter can be difficult.
The cold weather makes it hard to get the engine started, and because you have to blast the heat for a while before getting moving, it’s not usually worth it to start your car more than once per day.
If you live in an area where temperatures go below zero degrees Fahrenheit, starting your car every morning may not even be an option.
This blog post will give you tips on how often I should start my car in cold weather, depending on what kind of vehicle you drive.
So, How Often Should I Start My Car in Cold Weather?
There’s no one size fits all answer.
It depends on how often you drive, the type of engine your car has, and more.
If this is an important issue for you, please speak with a mechanic to find out what’s best for your specific vehicle
Ideas: – The average person drives about 11 miles per day or 310 miles per week.
This means they should start their car three times in cold weather at least every two weeks, if not sooner.
However, many starts are appropriate will depend on whether it’s used primarily as a commuter car (a short trip) or long-distance travel (far away from home).
To save gas, we recommend starting your car before leaving for work or school in the morning.
If you are a commuter and live close to your workplace, this may not be necessary every day of the week but should still happen on occasion.
A person who drives long distances might need less frequent starts because they’re driving for long periods at one time, which means their engine doesn’t get as cold and will warm up more quickly than someone with shorter trips.
However, if you drive four hours without starting your car, it will take much longer for that engine to heat back up after being turned off again when needed, so we recommend limiting these long commutes by using public transportation or finding an alternative route where possible.
1. Daily Starting
In most cases, it is best to start your car every day in the winter.
Even when you don’t need to use your car for a couple of hours or more, turning on the engine and letting warm air blow through will help keep moisture from building up inside parts like radiators and heater cores that cool down the engine.
Not starting your vehicle can also lead to an accumulation of ice particles that will freeze over time into solid sheets of ice that block fuel lines and prevent gas from getting delivered as needed by the ignition system.
This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for cars engines to turn on at all.
In addition, a lack of regular starts increases wear-and-tear on a vehicle’s battery because batteries work harder than usual to power the engine.
2. Unhook the Battery
The best way to preserve your car battery in cold weather is by disconnecting the negative cable from the battery.
This should be done before temperatures drop below freezing and can continue until they reach above 40 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s about five months, give or take).
Once disconnected, it will allow you to start your engine without using as much power from the starter motor.
It also ensures that if you forget to do this when temperatures are really low outside for an extended period of time, there won’t be any risk of shortening its lifespan.
This is a good idea for both gas and diesel-powered cars.
Disconnecting the battery will also protect against accidental starts, which can be triggered if a faulty sensor detects that your car’s still running or you accidentally hit the power locks button with it off, draining the battery from your vehicle while it is sitting idle.
If disconnection isn’t an option for where you live (especially in urban areas), try to use as few accessories as possible when starting out, so less electricity goes into turning on components such as lights, heaters and radios.
This will prevent the unnecessary drain on the battery over time, too but doesn’t eliminate all risks associated with long periods of sitting without batteries being disconnected or drained at small rates by something like a radio playing.
Should I Start My Car Every Few Hours in Cold Weather?
Hmmm… It depends.
If your vehicle has a modern, fuel-injected engine with an electric cooling fan on the front of the water pump and you live in a temperate climate (i.e., there is no snow or ice on the ground), then it’s likely not necessary to start your car more than once per day.
However, if you have an older vehicle that doesn’t have this type of engine/fan combo, then it may be prudent to start up every few hours just as a preventative measure against cold weather damage like freeze plugs popping out from being too brittle due to exposure to below freezing temperatures for long periods.
Plus, corrosion buildup, which can lead to exhaust leaks – two things NO one wants.
Is It Bad to Drive Your Car in Cold Weather?
Yes, in certain weather conditions driving a car is bad for it.
But not during winter in general.
My mother always told me to let the car warm up on cold winter mornings before driving it.
She’s concerned about the engine and oil, in particular, I think. Is there any truth to this?
How important is this “warming up” process?
As long as your car is covered overnight, you do not need to let your car warm up before driving off into the cold weather.
Cars these days are built to start up with no problem in cold weather. You can read more about starting your car after being parked for a while here
If the car isn’t covered, you’ll want to let it warm up a little bit before driving off. But if you’re too impatient, just take it easy on the gas and gently drive it off.
Warming Car Engine Oil | Is it Bad to Idle?
I’ve heard once the car has warmed up, I need to shut it off.
Is this true? If so, why is that bad?
Also, if it is okay to idle for a quick minute, how long would I wait before turning my engine off?
It is okay to idle for a minute or two; any longer than that is not necessary.
Cars today are built, so you don’t have to idle up but go right ahead if it makes you feel better.
As for turning the engine off — again, it depends on how long you’ve been idling. It’s best just to shut off the engine once you’ve driven off.
Hi I’m Marshall based in 1478 Doctors Drive Santa Monica, CA. I’m your DIY Car Repairman with more than 5 years experience in automobile repair, a skill I learned from my old man.
I started this blog to share my experience on both simple and technical aspects of your car.