Tips to keep your car starting during the cold snap in Winnipeg

Mark Woods, Manager at Tony's Academy Auto Service.
Mark Woods, Manager at Tony's Academy Auto Service. Alison MacKinnon/Global News

With chilly temperatures in the forecast for Winnipeg, it’s important to keep your car warm.

Mark Woods is the manager at┬áTony’s Academy Auto Service, and he says a lot of issues can pop up with your car if you don’t plug it in.

“When it’s cold, [oil] gets almost like molasses and trying to turn an engine over is very hard. It’s hard on the engine, the battery and plugging it in helps tremendously.”

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“The whole idea of plugging in your block heater on your car is to keep the oil from getting very, very thick. Most block heaters are installed where the coolant is, which transfers enough heat to the oil pan keeps the oil thin so it flows.”

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Getting your car serviced regularly and having your oil changed routinely also helps, said Woods.

The forecast this week includes most nights with temperatures falling below -30 C, wind chill values in the -40s and even -50s, and daytime highs near -30 C.

Winnipeg’s 5 day forecast for the week of January 28, 2019.
Winnipeg’s 5 day forecast for the week of January 28, 2019. Global News

Erika Miller from CAA Manitoba said this is the time when you need to be making sure your car is plugged in.

“If you’re planning on heading out, you really only need to plug in your block heater three hours before you intend on driving,” she said.

“Because the block heater really allows the important components of your engine to stay warm and it helps reduce the wear and tear on your vehicle when you’re starting up in the cold.”

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Miller said you should also make sure your extension cord is in good condition.

“You can always check to make sure that your cord isn’t frayed or torn those are the first two things you should check for at the end or beginning of the season,” she said.