Best 3 practices for starting your car’s engine in the cold

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3 practices for starting your car's engine in the cold

How we operate a car and the measures we take in specific conditions significantly impact how long it lasts without severe issues. How we start the car in the winter will be necessary.

The way we use our car when the engine is cold makes all the difference, as we have repeatedly stated in various articles in our practical and tutorials department. Despite this, we will continue to stress its significance for the long-term performance of our vehicle.

3 practices for starting your car's engine in the cold

Winter will soon arrive, bringing frosts, snowfalls, and other conditions that might cause a combustion engine more harm than required if specific considerations regarding its use and functioning are not made.

Until the lubricant reaches its ideal viscosity, we must drive with the engine at low rpm and without rapid acceleration.

As you are aware, the engine consists of many moving parts that interact with one another and require lubrication to prevent irreparable damage from friction and pressures.

However, during the harshest autumn and winter days, the lubricant thickens and has to warm up to act as intended. Additionally, because the car has been idle for hours, all the oil has been deposited in the crankcase, which means that when we start the engine, all the engine parts must be re-warmed.

Why does this matter? Because the engine won’t have much lubrication for the first few seconds after we turn the key to start it, we should take extra care around it. This is how it needs to be done.

Getting the engine started when it’s cold: what to do

The first step in good practice is where we park the automobile, but we don’t always give it the attention it deserves. Even if we are too lazy to park our cars, we should use a garage, whether it is public or private. In this manner, it won’t freeze and will also be more comfortable for us to enter in the morning.

If this is not the case and we must park on the street, we should avoid doing so whenever we can because the frost will be worse there than if we park close to a building, wall, or roof. Even though the temperature will remain the same, the fact that the humidity and wind intensity will be lower could prevent us from developing frost on the car (but not the wind chill).

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This is particularly obvious in residential areas and densely vegetated urban regions. Parking on one side of the street or the other might sometimes make a difference. Due to the protection provided by the wall above, the house, the roof, and the sail in the parking area, even doing it inside the plot, next to the house, or on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the wall can result in morning frost or nothing at all.

It is best to turn the key partially to turn on the vehicle’s systems after you are inside the car to start the engine. We enable their material connection in this manner.

As you are aware, diesel engines should watch the glow plug indicator light closely. Before turning on the machine, it is preferable to perform the procedure a couple or three more times to ensure that everything is at the proper temperature and can be done effortlessly.


Parking spaces should be away from the wind and humidity.

Before starting the engine, could you wait 30 seconds with it running?

Run the engine at low revs and without accelerating until it reaches operating temperature (40 or 50 degrees at least).

The best time to start moving after starting the engine is at least 30 seconds. This gives the lubrication enough time to circulate throughout the engine and lubricate every component at the slowest possible speed or idle.

When a reasonable amount of time has passed, it is essential to circulate so that the motor can reach a temperature as quickly as feasible. However, that does not imply that for it to warm up rapidly, we should accelerate swiftly or take sharp curves.

If we accelerate suddenly or run the engine at high revs, we risk damaging the internal components before the lubricant reaches its ideal viscosity. So, do so quietly and calmly until the engine reaches at least 40 or 50 degrees. In reality, depending on how far away we live from it and whether we have to go totally through a city, this is often how long it takes us to get on the road or highway from home.

In the latter scenario, the engine likely won’t heat up to its ideal level, around 90 degrees. Because of this, cars with few miles on them, but practically all in cities, are frequently in poorer shape than cars with many miles on them.

What not to do while starting a cold-starting engine

Although we mentioned a few things you should not do when starting your car when it is cold when discussing excellent practices, it is worthwhile to comment on a few additional aspects in this regard:

If the automobile won’t start, keep the key turned for more than three or four seconds (we will damage the starter motor, the battery, etc., and we could run out of charge in the battery).

Quickly start the car without clearing the windows of snow or ice. It will strain the engine because of the factors above, in addition to being risky because of the low visibility.

For the reasons outlined in the preceding section, accelerate quickly and keep the engine running at high revs. Rushing is terrible in the winter for a variety of reasons.

Prematurely turning on the heating: This might jeopardize the system’s excellent health and, in addition, it won’t warm up the passenger area because almost all cars use engine heat, which, when it’s cold, can’t warm the room.

It disregards the car’s levels and maintenance. This is particularly important in the winter because, without it, the engine and its components won’t function correctly, making the cold even more harmful to them.

Do you have any other recommendations for using a car in the winter? Please share your thoughts with us at any time.

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