Getting your car going in the cold

Donnerstag, November 23, 2017

It’s that time of year again, yes already, when it is seemingly a lottery whether you need to leave extra time in the morning to prepare the car, whether it’s de-icing, removing condensation or even having trouble getting the car started. Here are a few things to be aware of to diagnose issues with your starter motor and prevent issues.

Keep your car warm

The first thing to try is prevent the car from getting cold in the first place. Even the coldest garage or any shelter is better than nothing, adding crucial extra insulation to stop the starter motor from freezing and overworking when you leave in the morning.

Liquids aren’t your friend in the cold

When it’s cold the two crucial fluids in your engine are working against you. The oil will be thicker, meaning it isn’t as good a lubricant throughout the engine. The bigger issue is that fuel is more difficult to evaporate the colder it gets, making it harder to create that critical first spark. 

Starter engine does all the work

With the engine unwilling to turn over, and fuel not wanting to burn, the starter motor has to do all the work on its own. The question is whether it has the voltage needed to meet the extra requirements. 

Turn off electrical appliances

Starter motors already have to work hard in the cold, so you don’t want to give them extra work. Turn off any electrical appliances on the car before you turn the ignition off to prevent any unnecessary drain on the battery, ensuring that it is at full power to turn the engine over that critical first time. 

Ignition timing

Of course, alongside the cold, there could be genuine issues with the starter motor itself. If the timing of the process of turning the engine over and creating the ignition spark is out, the timing loop isn’t going to get the engine started and will need to be fixed to get you on the road. 

Use your ears on startup

As ever you need to use your senses to diagnose any issues. Checking for buzzing, grinding, whirring or a loud click could be a result of a number of issues that need to be checked.  Always keep an ear out for any unknown sounds and see if it is a consistent problem.

Check headlights work

Finally, headlights can help you diagnose any problems. They are one of the few electrical appliances that operate off the battery before startup and if they are dim or flickering, it hints at electrical problems, possibly including with the startup. 

Have you got a stock of starter motors, even if they aren’t working? We want to hear from you to discuss your requirements further. We are a leading core dealer globally and are always looking for the best core to prepare for remanufacture. Get in touch by emailing


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