It is a common complaint when the weather turns colder and the winter winds set in. Even in normally mild Tennessee, winter temperatures can take a real toll on your vehicle – and leave you stranded by the side of the road or even in your own driveway.
When the weather gets colder, it becomes more difficult for your vehicle to start. The car that started perfectly every time in the winter may suddenly sputter and stall in the cold. Worse yet, you may turn the key and hear nothing but silence. So what do you do, and how do you know what is wrong?
How Old is Your Battery
You probably do not spend much time thinking about your battery, but you should. The battery in your car has an important job to do, and a limited life span.
If you cannot remember the last time you replaced your battery, you may be overdue. A worn battery will not have the cranking power of a brand new one, and it may not be able to start your car in sub-freezing temperatures. If you are having trouble with hard starts, lift the hood and look for the date sticker on your battery. If you are due for a replacement, make an appointment and bring your vehicle in for a new battery.
Where Do You Park?
You may not realize it, but where you park your car matters, especially in colder weather. If you park your car on the street or leave it in the driveway, the combination of cold and wind could cause the temperature under the hood to plummet.
That will make it even harder for your car to start, especially if your battery is reaching the end of its useful life. If you can, try parking your vehicle in the garage when the temperatures turn cold. Even if your garage is not heated, your car will stay warmer, and the vehicle should be easier to start in the morning.
Keeping your vehicle running its best is always a challenge, but it becomes even harder when the temperatures start to drop. Your vehicle needs special care, and the right maintenance, to stay running in cold weather. If you have not already done so, scheduling a winter season checkup is a smart thing to do. Your mechanic can examine your car, test the battery and charging system and make recommendations that will keep you safer and help ensure your vehicle starts on even the coldest Tennessee mornings.