Winter Vehicle Tips

Winter car starting tips:

Prevention is the best plan for keeping your vehicle starting in cold weather. Each fall have your vehicle winterized by a professional mechanic. Be sure the following are checked:

  • Battery tested
  • Radiator and hoses inspected
  • Anti-freeze levels checked
  • Have your oil changed to proper oil weight for winter
  • Battery cables and boots examined
  • If you car has a Distributor cap, have it inspected
  • Spark plugs examined
  • Thermostat checked
Always carry in your car:
  • Warm blanket
  • Additional warm clothing (especially mittens and stocking hats)
  • Jumper cables
  • Gas anti-freeze additive (isopropyl type additive)
  • Extra windshield washer fluid
In addition, consider carrying the following in a "Winter Car Kit":
  • Matches and candles
  • Food items like granola, candy bars, or other high calorie non-freezable snacks
  • Battery operated or handcrank portable radio
  • Emergency shovel
  • Tow chain/rope
  • Small bag of sand
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Road Flares or signaling device
  • Never let your gas tank get more than half empty. Even with today’s gasoline, fuel lines can freeze up in extreme Minnesota cold weather.
  • On particularly cold days, start you car and let it run for several minutes at least once every 6 hours. This prevents your battery and engine from getting too cold to start.
  • We highly recommend a service such as AAA. For a yearly fee you receive roadside assistance, from car starting to towing services, as well as maps, and travel discounts. The phone number for the St Cloud AAA office is 1-800-222-1333.
  • If your car is prone to tough starting, a battery blanket may be a wise purchase. This foil and fabric blanket protects the battery from the full brunt of cold weather.
  • Be aware if your vehicle has fuel injection. If it does, DO NOT pump the gas pedal when trying to start your vehicle. This will only flood the engine, making it harder to start.

Life Safety Services now provides jump starting service. However, a cold car may not respond to jump starts.