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Winter Car Problems

sat over night was about 30 below i tried starting my car… all it did was strain to start, then it just started clicking, tried jumping it for 20 min still nothing… what could it be? i have a full tank of gas too… could it still be frozen gass line??

Yes, it could easily be a frozen gas line. Especially at the temperatures you’re talking about.

A warm garage (above freezing), and a bottle or two of gas line antifreeze, might solve your problem.

If you’re lucky.

By the way, wind chill has nothing to do with frozen gas lines. Only actual air temperature matters.

If the engine won’t crank it has nothing to do with the fuel line. It is probably the battery. As temperature drops, so does the power output of a battery. Jump starting usually is done through the exsisting battery.You may be better off swapping the battery.

Secondly, I hope you had good antifreeze in the cooling system.

What kind of car are we talking about?

I second the battery. How long has it been since you bought the battery?

I also suspect the battery is just not up to 30 below. Jumping a marginal battery does not always do the job.

If you had a service give you a jump, it would have likely worked, but they are not using your Walmart jumper cables and they tend to use more than 12 volts as well.

You did not say, but is that a 2002 or 2003 car? If so the battery is due.

I have to add that at that temperature most cars are going to have a difficult time starting. I remember one morning at a motel in Canada it was 27 below F. My VW Rabbit diesel was the only car starting, but it had to drive about a mile or two before it would have any power. It was fun to have the only car that would start and it was a diesel.

It is seriously time to look at a block heater, You must be somewhere the block heater is a regular add on but at -30, you need additional measures, You can disconnect the battery and jump straight to the starter motor but at that temp molasses flows better than motor oil. Set it overnight in a heated garage and it should start fine.

it is a 98 pontiac bonneville i know everyone has their opinions on them but it has done me well just kinda a freak thing that the weather has been so low… i put some de-icer stuff in the gas tank… i dont remember the brand but said to put one bottle in so used that and well i checked my fan belt and everything too… i have enough anti freeze

Don’t know if this sounds too obvious. Could be your jumper cables are bad or you may be hooking them up incorrectly. After hooking the cables up to the helper battery (red to positive, black to negative), connect the red cable to the positive terminal on your battery, and find some uncoated metal on the block, if possible, or a clean ground point on the side of the engine bay to connect the black cable to. That way you aren’t trying to jump start the dead battery, you’re jump starting the car.

You may need a heater installed in the head or the block. People who sell them will look in the manual to see which is recommended for your car. When GM cars had trouble starting it used to be a coil problem. 30 below is getting cold enough to keep the car from starting all by itself, with no problems. Don’t try jumping directly to the starter because the ignition switch will fail as designed. Protect your eyes in case the battery blows.

It sounds like the battery. If its more than 3 years old it is more than likely the case. Jumping it you need to leave the cables on for a while to get any charge in and make sure they very heavy wires and attached really well at those temps.

Good luck, I would go no where in that weather.

The symptoms you’ve described sounds like it could ONLY be the battery. Try jumping it and see if it’ll start. Is this Northern Canada…Not too many places in the US have EVER seen -30.

It is not every year, but places in MN and IA definitely once in a blue moon hits that level. Horrid cold. Usually only like one night then gone.

I lived in Massena NY one winter working with on Physics Professor. Several days it got down to -40…one day even -50…But those days were in February…NOT mid December.

A small battery charger might help start the car on cold mornings. They keep the battery a little warmer. Get an automatic one that puts out a few amps and put it on a timer so it runs for 4-5 hours before you are going to be out there trying to start it.