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

2021 Acura RDX on Snowy Road

It’s no secret that our Denver winters can be brutal on our cars. Maybe you’ve discovered that your car won’t start when cold, but starts when warm. That can be very frustrating, but there are things you can do about it. Our service department wants to help you keep your car running in top shape, so we’ve put together the guide below on how to cold-start a car and why this is sometimes hard to do. So, if you’ve been wondering, “Why won’t my car start when it’s cold?” or “What is a cold start?”, keep reading!

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What Is a Cold Start?

What is a cold start, exactly? To cold start a car means to start the engine when the ambient temperature is colder than the temperature of the car’s engine. That can be easier said than done, especially in the frigid temperatures we can experience around Aurora. But it is possible when you follow the steps below. Just remember to keep your oil changed and refrain from revving up your engine to warm it up.

How to Cold Start a Car:

  1. Turn off all electrical systems.
  2. Dip the clutch while turning your ignition (applies to manual transmissions, of course).
  3. Make sure your battery posts and cable connectors are not corroded.
  4. Check the oil and top it off if it is low.

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

It can be infuriating to find out your car won’t start when cold but starts when warm. Why does that happen? A cold engine needs more gas to start than a warm engine, and so the engine must idle higher than it would otherwise. If the engine doesn’t idle high enough, the excess gas could clog the ignition system, causing the engine to stall. However, there could be other reasons why your car won’t start when cold.

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

  • The battery isn’t designed for the cold. The winters in this region of the country aren’t as harsh as in other regions. Most batteries you can buy from retailers will have an “S” after the size of the battery. This stands for “South” and indicates the battery is made for warmer climates. It could also just be time to replace your battery.
  • The oil is low or needs to be changed. Oil needs to flow smoothly through the engine for it to start in cold weather. Dirty oil or low oil will affect this.
  • Moisture in the fuel line. Moisture in the fuel line can freeze in the winter, causing a clog. This can happen more commonly in diesel engines.
  • The carburetor is clogged. This applies to older cars since most modern cars have fuel injectors instead of carburetors.

Trust the Experts at Fisher Acura of Boulder

You don’t need to guess why your car won’t start when it’s cold. Let the trained professionals in our service center look at it. We can easily troubleshoot the problem and get you back on our Broomfield roads in no time. So schedule an appointment with us. And, if you found this guide to be helpful, check out our post on 5 signs that you need an oil change. Just be sure to drop by or contact us today.

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