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Cold Weather Car Care Tips For Honda and Acura Owners

As winter temperatures continue to drop all over America; local car drivers here in Tennessee are experiencing a little car trouble. Just yesterday, four Honda and Acura vehicles were towed out of Nashville to Accurate Automotive, and three of them were brought in with our own tow truck.

All four vehicles are earlier model used cars. These tow-in vehicles consisted of a 2002 Honda Civic, a 2001 Honda Prelude Si, a 1993 Honda Accord 10th Anniversary Edition, and a 1992 Acura Vigor. What all four of these Honda and Acura vehicles have in common was while they are all very reliable cars, they are older cars and the temperatures, that had dropped well below freezing,  had caused some problems. These cold weather problems consisted from not starting to major oil leaks.

While the vehicles that wouldn’t start had to be towed; the Honda and Acura car owners with major engine oil leaks, wisely chose to have their vehicle towed instead of risking further damage and a more extensive & expensive car repair.

The most common cold weather problem is “the car won’t start”  Please note, the information below is based on local, middle Tennessee weather conditions and may not apply to the bitter, sub-zero temperatures that many experieince in the mid west regions and further north of TN.

Car Won’t Start in Cold Weather.

If the vehicle has been regularly maintained and serviced,  this problem is usually caused by a low crank speed. Low crank speed during cold weather usually results from two common problems; a low charged / bad battery or the wrong engine oil viscosity for winter temperatures.

  • A bad car battery  can show up at any time. Regardless of how old the battery is, or what brand the battery is, provides no guarantee that it cannot fail. According to our own Interstate Battery Supplier, during cold weather, the individual plates inside of a car battery can short-out. This can occur with no previous warning and if this happens the battery “is toast” and cannot even be “jumped-off”.  During the winter, Accurate Automotive recommends that you drive your Honda and Acura vehicles every few days, including some constant speed driving on an interstate or highway. Also, have your car battery load tested when you go in for an oil change. Most shops have a way to load test the battery and many of them will provide this service at no cost if you request it during routine maintenance, such as an oil change.

As for freezing, most modern-day car batteries will not freeze and crack. Several years ago, battery manufacturers provided a way to top off the acid level with tap water, when the acid levels got low during the summer time heat. Today, most battery manufacturers have produced “maintenance-free” batteries and it is harder to obtain a way to top-off the battery acid level with water…. However, if enough water has been added to the battery acid level during the summer or late enough into autumn, and if the battery is exposed to extremely cold temperatures;  they can freeze, crack, and even explode under the right temperature conditions.

NOTE:  Always wear eye protection and gloves when working with car batteries and NEVER stand near either battery when using jumper cables. Hook the jumper cables up and stand clear.

  • Wrong engine oil viscosity can not only cause a low crank speed, but it can also cause engine damage because the lubricant cannot flow properly  and protect vital engine parts when cold.


The above photo was taken from a 2000 Honda Accord owners manual is simply being displayed as an example. Oil viscosity does vary by vehicle and the year that it was built. Always consult your own Honda and Acura owners manual for correct engine oil specs.

For additional information on using the correct engine oil in Honda and Acura vehicles, click on the link below:


During any extreme, below freezing cold weather, snap Honda and Acura Car Owners should be on the look out for an oil leak, coolant / anti-freeze leak and other vehicle issues such as the engine cranking slower than normal. Some of these car engine issues can indicate that your car may not start the next time you turn the key in cold weather.  Instead of that reliable, strong crank of the engine, you might only hear a clicking noise or nothing at all.  In colder than normal temps, Accurate Automotive recommends that car owners “stop, look, listen, and address the warning signs”.

Honda and Acura Car Owners in the Nashville, Brentwood, Murfreesboro and Middle Tennessee area can call Accurate Automotive for assistance if any of these issues effect your car.


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