Many people find it challenging to start the car when cold. The issue also comes during the snowy season because of weak batteries.
Do Cars Take Longer to Start When Cold? Cars take longer to start in cold weather due to moisture in the fuel system, thick motor oil, faulty alternators, damaged batteries, old spark plugs, and defective starter motor. In addition, it happens due to moisture entry in fuel lines and brake lines, increased need for engine power, and snow accumulation in carburetors.
You have to regularly maintain your car during the winter season to cope with the problematic situation on snowy mornings.
Many people also complain that their engine stops working while driving on snowy roads due to extremely low temperatures.
Moisture in the fuel system
The issue comes due to temperature differences and seasonal changes.
The change in inside and outside temperature cause condensation reactions. The water droplets accumulate at the top of the gas tank.
When you open these tanks, the droplets enter inside and mix with the fuel. The humidity and water in fuel/gas make them impure and cause issues during ignition.
In addition, the water that gets enters the tank also freezes there because of the low temperature. The frozen water cause difficulty in the movement of gas, and the engine cannot start.
You can use alcohol or mineral spirit to remove water from the fuel tanks. Flush the fuel system by using rubbing alcohol, and it will also help to remove accumulated water.
Thickening of engine oil
The engine oils are the major constituent of this part to protect them from wear and tear. Moreover, it is also beneficial to reduce friction between engine components.
During winters, the motor oil becomes thicker and cannot easily pass through the different parts. As a result, this oil’s viscosity becomes high, making it difficult to pump.
The motor oil’s thickness becomes so high that it cannot move freely through the engine block. In addition, the highly viscous oil puts stress on the battery and its working.
The batteries are already weak in the cold season and cannot work efficiently, so your vehicle takes more time to ignite.
Moreover, the thick motor oil cannot appropriately lubricate all the parts and increases the friction between them.
You can fix the issue by regularly maintaining your vehicle during winters. Also, change the motor oil for adequate movement in the block after some time.
Issues with alternator
The alternators play an essential role in charging the battery of your car. The alternators become bad during the winter season and cannot function well.
It cannot charge the battery accurately due to the malfunctioning of this component.
The insufficient charge on the battery causes a delay in the ignition, and you feel difficulty while starting your car.
It acts as a small generator to provide the electric current to batteries for the working of the powered system.
In addition, it is also connected to the engine with belts and pulleys. However, these belts and pulleys only function accurately in warm weather.
The manufacturing material of belts makes them less flexible and causes an interruption in the ignition system. The alternators also get damaged in the cold due to frequent jump-starting of vehicles.
People use the jump-starting technique to start their vehicles in winter, which can directly affect the functioning of alternators and make them bad.
You can feel jerky movements due to faulty and malfunctioned alternators. The lights on the dashboard on the dashboard and headlights also start to flicker.
You can only fix the issue by changing the alternators after disconnecting them with batteries.
Defective starter motor
The starter motor is a small device that gets power from the batteries to run the engine. The starter relay is present between the battery and the motor.
These cannot work efficiently in cold weather due to the thickening of engine oil.
The thickening of oil stresses the starter, and it cannot provide sufficient electricity.
In addition, you can also hear a clicking sound from the ignition system due to a lack of power supply.
The brushes of the starter motor also become faulty in these extreme weather conditions.
You can face the problem of loss of power while starting your vehicle. Most modern vehicles nowadays have strong motors for a sufficient supply of electric current.
The faulty brushes cannot generate enough power supply to spin the engine. However, you can fix the issue by changing the starter relay for appropriate functioning.
Snow accumulation in carburetors
The carburetors are present in most cars to mix air and fuel. However, cold conditions affect the functioning of these carburetors.
This part is at more risk during winters because of the small nozzles. In addition, the humidity is high when the temperature of the environment is low.
The moisture traps in these small nozzles cause their blockage due to ice formation.
In addition, the water cannot evaporate from these small blocks due to their size.
The gasoline cannot flow through these blocked nozzles and cause a problem in the ignition.
In addition, the chocks of the carburetors also become blocked due to icing.
The insufficient supply of gasoline can disturb the combustion process and causes this issue.
You can fix this issue by parking it in closed garages during winter.
Effect on engine sensors
The engine sensors cannot function appropriately due to slight fluctuations in temperature.
In addition, the incorrect signaling due to malfunctioning sensors causes the check engine light to come on.
In addition, it can also disturb the functioning of the throttle body. The malfunctioned sensor also causes an incorrect mixture of air and fuel for the combustion process.
The cold temperature causes insufficient mixing of oil and fuel, which cannot ignite the vehicles accurately.
The inadequate mixing of oil and air cause issue in the ignition. You can fix this issue by taking it to a mechanic to identify errors.
The experts will attach the scanner tool to read the error codes and find the problem.
Thickening of transmission fluid and anti-freeze
The transmission fluid is present in the transmission system for their appropriate working.
In addition, it helps to reduce the friction between gears and brakes.
The thicker transmission fluid cause issue while shifting the gears, and your car takes more time during ignition than normal.
The anti-freeze is also essential because it helps maintain the engine’s temperature according to environmental conditions.
The low temperature causes thickening of anti-freeze, and it cannot flow through the system to maintain the engine’s temperature.
The viscous anti-freeze solution cannot protect the water from freezing in the cooling system.
However, you can fix the issue by replacing its coolant and transmission fluid.
Old spark plugs
The spark plugs produce spark for the combustion of air and fuel mixture. Therefore, the old spark plugs are more at risk of damage in a cold environment.
The change in temperature affects the efficiency of working of this part. It cannot produce power to run the engine due to less electricity supply.
Moreover, corrosion also comes on this component due to low temperature and high humidity. As a result, the corroded spark plugs cannot provide enough electricity for ignition.
The cold weather also causes resistance to the flow of electric current in the spark plug. You can fix the issue by winterizing your vehicle in winter.
Moisture entry from damaged fuel lines and brake lines
The broken fuel lines cause moisture entry into the fuel system and ignition problems. It takes more time to start due to impurities in the fuel.
The accumulated moisture also becomes freeze and causes issues in fuel movement from the lines. The brake lines get damaged due to accumulation of corrosion due to low temperature.
The wear and tear in brake lines is due to contact with road salts.
You can fix the issue by checking the leakage from the fuel lines and brake lines.
However, you should not ignore the leakage from these parts and call the mechanic to resolve the problem.
Effect on battery
The low temperature directly affects the functioning of its batteries. Sometimes these also become dead, and you cannot start your vehicle.
The cold temperature decreases their strength and capability to work.
As a result, the chemical reactions occurring in these components for the flow of charge also become low. A bad battery can cause your car to stall and its engine can stop working.
The decrease in the chemical reaction process decreases the supply of electric current. As a result, the rate of charge on batteries also reduces in winters.
You can fix the issue by using warm electric blankets to cover your vehicle. These blankets keep the different components warm for their appropriate functioning.
Decreased Engine power
The issue occurs because the engine needs more power during winters compared to warm weather.
The blocked components and mechanical stress on batteries need extra power for the combustion process. The demand for more power also occurs due to inappropriate functioning of the crankshaft and valve train.
In addition, there is more friction between the various components of the engine, which are hard to run smoothly.
You can resolve the issue by warming up your engine. Then, start the car, wait for 30 seconds, and do not turn on any other accessory that drains extra power from the electricity source.