Be sure your car is winterized before the cold weather hits. Keeping your automobile in good shape is the best way to insure your battery booster cables will stay in the trunk this winter. Here are some guidelines which can help you start a car in cold weather.
• Winter tune-up is your best insurance for starting you car in cold weather. Regular tune-ups, including points, plugs, and ignition wire checks are even more important in the winter than the summer.
• The benefits of a well-tuned car will go further when you use the correct grade of oil for your area. This often makes the difference between starting and not starting.
• Have your battery cables checked to be sure they are in good condition with tight clean connections.
• The battery itself should be checked for electrolyte level. A battery at zero degrees Fahrenheit produces less than 50% of the power it has at 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and requires 2 1/2 times as much power to crank the engine.
• All V-belts should be inspected for wear, especially the alternator drive. Because of the types of V-belts used in most cars today, it is very difficult – even for the trained mechanic – to spot a failing belt. So, as a rule of thumb, if your belts are four years old, replace them whether or not they appear to need it. Replacement should be done sooner than every four years if you do a great deal of driving.
• If the weather in your area demands it, consider using auxiliary oil, coolant, or battery heaters. A battery heater can be very effective in extremely cold areas.
• Rust and dirt in the cooling system can cause poor heater output. If necessary, the cooling system should be flushed. At the same time, the thermostat and all hoses should be checked.