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Video: Tips for Starting Your Car in Subzero Temperatures

Video: Tips for Starting Your Car in Subzero Temperatures

When outside temperatures get to around zero degrees Fahrenheit and below, even the a well-maintained car can use a little help. I'll show you a few products that will prepare your car for truly frigid temps, ensuring that it starts, potentially saving fuel and preventing damaging wear, as well.

Related: Winter Is Coming; Is Your Car Ready?
 
We don't like the cold, and our cars don't either. The colder it is outside, the less power your battery has to turn the Used Engine over and start it — and — the harder that Used Engine is to turn over because the lubricants thicken as they get colder. It's a double-whammy.

The best product you can add to the car to combat subzero temperatures is a block heater. It's an electric heating element that gets installed into a hole in the Used Engine block and sits in the liquid coolant. When you plug it in, the coolant warms the entire Used Engine .

Another option, though not as effective, might be a better choice depending on the car: It's an inline heater for a lower radiator hose — all you do is cut the hose, take an inch-or-two section out of it, and install the heater. When it's plugged in, the heated coolant circulates through the block.

As I mentioned, a cold battery is a weak battery, so there's a solution for that, as well: a battery heater blanket that's claimed to raise the temperature by about 70 degrees. All you need to do is unclamp the battery, and wrap the blanket around it and secure it.
 
With this and the other products, the goal is to route the cords away from hot and moving parts toward the front of the Used Engine compartment, or even through the grille.

Each of these three products costs less than $30. The battery blanket took me 15 minutes to install. The other heaters require the Used Engine coolant to be drained and refilled and will require an hour or two of labor if you bring it to a professional. Some cars — and installers — take longer than others.

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