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Why Won't My #*%@#* Car Start?!

Starting your car in cold weather can be a big problem. There are three main reasons why the beast won't "purr".

1. Gasoline must be vaporized to burn and it evaporates slowly in the cold. (Sometimes people spray ether into their engines to get them started - ether evaporates faster than gasoline in cold weather.)

2. Cold oil gets stiff - making it harder for engine parts to move (a block heater can warm up the engine block), and

3. Chemical reactions in cold batteries are slower so the battery produces fewer electrons - making it too weak for the starter motor.

As well, the locks may be frozen, making it impossible to even get into the car and put the key in the ignition!

PICTURE: How good are you at "reading" the snow? Heavy snowfalls usually occur in temperatures just below freezing (warmer air holds more moisture, and the High Arctic is actually a desert). The amount of "fresh" snow and the size of the snowflakes in the picture suggest that it is not very cold. The car would likely start easily - it just couldn't GO anywhere!

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Library: Cold / Cold Places, Arctic
Links: Cold Places, Environment, Arctic
Game: Guess the Cold Places!
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports


Double-click any unlinked word DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
Arctic Library ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
All sorts of Arctic Maps ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
Links to related sites. ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

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