Brr… My Car Won’t Start! Common Culprits of Cold-Weather Woes

Ah, winter. The season of cosy nights, festive cheer and… car troubles? That’s right, when temperatures plummet, our trusty vehicles can become stubborn beasts, refusing to turn over with a satisfying purr. They simply won’t start.

But before you resort to desperate thumb-warms and icy tears, take a deep breath. The good news is, most cold weather starting woes have familiar culprits and Lowton Motor Company in Birchwood is here to diagnose and remedy them with their expert touch.

Battery Blues

Car Battery Dead

Let’s start with the most common suspect: the battery. As temperatures drop, the chemical reactions within your battery slow down, reducing its cranking power. This means even a slightly weak battery, which might whirr the engine to life on a balmy day, suddenly becomes a grumpy Scrooge in sub-zero temperatures.

  • Reduced power: Cold temperatures slow down the chemical reactions in a car battery, reducing its ability to generate the cranking power needed to start the engine.
  • Thicker oil: When it’s cold, engine oil thickens, making it harder for the starter motor to crank the engine. This puts additional strain on the battery, further draining its power.
  • Age and condition: Older or worn-out batteries are more susceptible to failing in cold weather.

Symptoms: Sluggish cranks, dim headlights or complete electrical silence point towards a battery in need of a boost.

Engine Problems

Car Engine Problems
  • Fuel system issues: Water, a pesky element even in winter, can find its way into your fuel system. When temperatures dip, this moisture can freeze, blocking fuel lines and preventing the engine from getting the juice it needs.
  • Spark plug problems: Spark plugs may not spark properly in cold weather, especially if they are worn or dirty. Worn or fouled plugs struggle to produce a strong spark in harsh conditions, leaving your engine gasping for ignition.
  • Icing problems: Ice can form in the air intake, carburettor, or other engine components, preventing the engine from starting.

Symptoms: Difficulty starting, especially after short trips and engine misfires are signs of potential spark plug trouble. Difficulty starting, rough idling and engine stalling after starting are potential indicators of frozen fuel lines.

Other Factors

Faulty Starter Motor
  • Faulty starter motor: The starter motor can wear out over time and be more prone to failure in cold weather.
  • Sensor issues: Your car relies on a network of sensors to monitor its vitals. In extreme cold, some of these sensors can malfunction, sending incorrect information to the engine computer and wreaking havoc on the starting process.
  • Low coolant level: Low coolant levels can lead to engine overheating, which can damage the engine and prevent it from starting.

Symptoms: Difficulty starting, unpredictable engine behaviour and warning lights could be caused by sensor glitches.

Don’t Despair, Get Repaired!

BMW Winter Warrington Street

If your car has fallen victim to any of these winter woes, fear not! Lowton Motor Company, your friendly Birchwood car care heroes, are equipped to diagnose and fix the problem.

Our team of skilled technicians will perform a thorough inspection, identifying the culprit and recommending the most effective solution.

Whether it’s a battery boost, an oil change, new spark plugs, fuel system treatment or a sensor reset, Lowton Motor Company has the tools and expertise to get your car purring like a contented cat again.

Tips For Avoiding Cold Weather Starting Problems

Prevention is Key

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of frozen tears (and repair bills!). Here are some proactive steps you can take to beat the winter blues and keep your car cranking happily:

  • Schedule a winter car care check: Lowton Motor Company offers a free winter car care check with every service or repair, giving you peace of mind and ensuring your car is up for the frosty challenge.
  • Get your battery tested: Don’t wait for your battery to leave you stranded. Have it tested before the temperatures plummet and replace it if it’s nearing its end of life.
  • Use winter-grade oil: Switching to a thinner oil formulated for cold weather can make a big difference in starting performance.
  • Park in a garage: If possible, park your car in a garage or other sheltered area to protect it from the harsh elements.
  • Start and run your car regularly: Short, frequent trips can help keep your battery charged and minimize the risk of fuel lines freezing.
  • Adding Winter Anti Freeze
  • Add a fuel system de-icer: Add a de-icer to your fuel tank before winter.
  • Keep your engine in good condition: Follow your regular maintenance schedules.
  • Do not over crank your engine: If your car does not start, don’t keep cranking the engine for more than a few seconds. This can damage the battery and starter motor. Wait a few minutes and try again. If it still doesn’t start, call for roadside assistance.

By taking these steps and trusting the expertise of Lowton Motor Company, you can navigate the winter months with confidence, knowing your car will be your reliable partner in every frosty adventure. So, don’t let the cold get the better of you. Head down to Lowton Motor Company in Birchwood, Warrington and let them turn your winter car woes into purring satisfaction!

Remember, Lowton Motor Company serves Birchwood, Warrington and surrounding towns. We are committed to providing top-notch car care with a friendly service and affordable prices. So, don’t let your car fall victim to the winter blues. Give us a call or complete the booking form today!


For further information on our services you can browse the site or get in touch with us by calling 019253 30468 or you can email us directly at Lowton Motor Company Birchwood, based in Birchwood Warrington, service, repair and MOT vehicle in Birchwood and all the surrounding areas, Culcheth, Croft, Risley, Padgate etc.

We service all vehicles produced by all the top manufacturers from a Ford to a Porsche and everything in between. Our experienced technicians have access to and training with all the latest technology. You can be sure your vehicle is in safe hands whether it’s in for a repair, a service or just the annual MOT.

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