6 Things to Know About Subaru Cold Start in the San Francisco Bay Area

Things to Know About Starting Vehicle in Cold Temperatures from Carlsen Subaru in Redwood City, CA

Subaru is one of the most trusted automotive names in rugged and mountainous regions, so you're not likely to have much trouble starting yours on a cold morning in Redwood City, CA. However, there are some things to be aware of if you're having trouble getting your Subaru started after the engine has cooled down. Below, we outline six things you should know about starting your vehicle when the engine is cold.

Protect Your Subaru Engine from cold starting damage with information from Carlsen Subaru

6. What is a Cold Start For Your Subaru Engine?

When you hear the term "Cold Start" in regard to a vehicle, it's easy to think of a place with snow on the ground and ice on the roads. Certainly, that qualifies as a cold start. However, the term technically refers to a vehicle's engine being started when it's below operating temperature. That means the first time you start your Subaru after it's been sitting for a few hours or more is a cold start.

5. Older Vehicles

Virtually every vehicle built since the mid 1980's is equipped with some manner of electronic fuel injection, so colder temperatures outside or in the engine shouldn't cause issues with the fuel delivery. However, engines without electronic fuel injection are notorious for difficulty starting in the cold. A can of starter fluid is the go-to solution for getting a classic ride up and running in the cold.

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4. Battery

As far as modern automotive technology has come, it's still a fact that car batteries hate the cold. The best way to avoid cold start problems due to the battery is to have it checked and tested before the colder months. If your vehicle seems sluggish to turn over in the cold, try turning off all non-essential electronics, don't have the heater going full blast, and wait between attempts of turning the key. If you still can't get the car started in the cold, you may need to get a jump start. Then, have the battery checked and tested.

3. Oil

The oil in your vehicle's engine is especially important when starting in the cold. That's because cold oil doesn't flow as well, which means internal engine parts may not have the best lubrication at first. The best way to avoid oil issues when starting your vehicle in the cold is to use full synthetic oil. It's designed to flow better in the cold and coat better when hot. In fact, most modern Subaru models require synthetic oil.

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2. Fuel

We already mentioned the common issues of getting fuel to older engines not equipped with electronic fuel injection. However, cold temperatures can also cause fuel problems in newer vehicles. While there shouldn't be any moisture in the fuel system, it does happen. That could mean bits of ice form to cause problems in the fuel system. Since we rarely see freezing temperatures here in the California Bay Area, you aren't likely to run into this issue. However, keep it in mind if you take your Subaru to the mountains for a ski trip. Our parts center can direct you to a fuel additive that will prevent this.

1. Don't Rev the Engine

The most important thing we think you should know about starting any engine when it's cold is to not rev it. Most modern engines will adjust to a slightly higher idle when the temperatures are cold, but putting your accelerator pedal to the floor when the engine is cold is a bad idea for a variety of reasons. The oil hasn't had a chance to coat all the parts, cold engines produce more emissions, and among many other reasons is that your neighbor probably doesn't appreciate hearing an engine rev before they have to get out of bed.

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Carlsen Subaru

480 Veterans Blvd
Directions Redwood City, CA 94063

  • Sales: 650-365-6390
  • Service : 650-365-6390
  • Parts: 650-365-6390
  1. Carlsen Subaru

    480 Veterans Blvd
    Redwood City, CA 94063

    • Sales: (888) 520-5916

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