The most common winter car complaint is the engine not starting. Like humans, your car does not work as well in the cold and that very much applies to the chemical reaction in your battery, reducing starting power by around a third in cold temperatures.

The number one thing you should do for the night is shut off all accessories, the heat, radio, interior lights, any power source that could be a drain for the battery.

If you don’t have access to a garage, try parking with the hood as near a building as possible to be shielded from the wind. Also, buildings are warmer than out in the open, and you’ll be warmer too.

Removing the battery and bringing it inside for the night could cause potential damaged to the electronics in your vehicle not to mention that on a lot of cars now days the battery can be pretty tough to get at. Not our recommended course of action!

You could get a block heater for your engine (a lot of cars come with them now) and / or a trickle charger for your battery. For really cold weather there are electrically heated blankets available for batteries.

If the car doesn’t start after 15-20 seconds of trying, let the car sit for 2 minutes before trying again.


Jump Starting

If you need a jump, please be careful. We do NOT recommend boosting a battery from another vehicle. Frequently we have seen that damage both vehicle’s electronics leading to expensive repairs on both vehicles. Always check your owner’s manual at the very least or YouTube. The rule is red to red, black to ground. Always connect the red positive cable to the battery first then the black ground cable to the chassis of the vehicle (not the battery). Let it run for two minutes, then give the dead car a start. Let it run a bit. Then reverse the process for removing the cables. Just don’t let the clamps touch; the spark can be shocking to your bank account!



By far the best thing you can do is to maintain your vehicle. A regular service with Fifth Avenue Auto means we keep an eye out for those areas that are getting long in the tooth and need replacing. Don’t get left out in the cold!