What to Do If the Engine Sputtered Out in Winter

Usually advice on this topic concerns the struggle for survival in a frozen car in the middle of nowhere before the arrival of rescuers.

However, ABOUTCARS will share a few hacks on how to crank an engine or at least activate a heater.

What to Do If the Engine Sputtered Out in Winter photo 2

There is no doubt that the easiest way to get out of an unpleasant winter situation is to call rescuers or tow trucks. But this is not always possible, and even after a call, specialists do not always arrive quickly. So, we are talking about self-activity today.

The first thing to do during an involuntary stop on the road is to call rescuers or inform your family and friends The first thing to do during an involuntary stop on the road is to call rescuers or inform your family and friends

Typically, winter problems and breakdowns are the same for all cars, so let's try to deal with them in terms of field conditions. We will not consider repair issues on the winter road; we will only speak about annoying trifles that can prevent the successful completion of a country trip.

The car got stuck on the road side

Most often, you can get out of a snowdrift on the road side or even from a ditch yourself. The main thing is not to start reckless attempts to get out in the first seconds and not to plant the car even deeper with senseless skidding. It is most reliable to resort to the help of a passing truck or powerful SUV (many drivers of the latter will be happy to show you the outstanding traction capabilities of their cars). If there is no help to wait for, try to dig out and leave on your own, especially since you still have nothing else to do while waiting for help. Use a shovel, rope, shrub branches for placing them under the wheels and small tree trunks as levers for hanging out the car.

The most reliable way to get on the road after the accident is to get help from the owner of a powerful SUV or AWD truck. But this is not the only option The most reliable way to get on the road after the accident is to get help from the owner of a powerful SUV or AWD truck. But this is not the only option

Two damaged wheels at once

If there is a question of freezing or going to civilization, you need to drive, at least on three wheels. More precisely, on three serviceable and on one deflated. The winter road can forgive such technical barbarity but only on the condition if you drive in first gear, put the spare tire on the driving axle and the flat one on the least loaded side of the car. Most likely, the whole flat wheel will have to be thrown out later, but health is above all.

The engine stalled out

Modern engines are so sophisticated that only well-equipped professionals can repair a stalled unit in the middle of nowhere. But there are a few small things that can be bypassed. So, if the engine sputtered out (for example, due to the failure of a plug or high-voltage wire) in an extreme situation, you can continue driving without one cylinder. First, you will need to unplug the wire from the fuel injector of the problem cylinder, and then you have to maintain higher rpm and drive in first or second gear. At the worst, the injector nozzle cannot be turned off, but the travel may not be long (up to 10 km) and you will have to replace the catalyst – but you will not die from cold anyway.

If you clear the tracks in front of the wheels and choose the right trajectory for acceleration, you may get on the road without the help of a tow-car If you clear the tracks in front of the wheels and choose the right trajectory for acceleration, you may get on the road without the help of a tow-car

A cold proof coolant leak can cause engine overheating, but you can try to temporarily restore the liquid level with any water or even a drink. Only open the radiator cap or tank with maximum care, covering it with a large cloth not to burn your hands and face.

The petrol engine may hiccup due to snow carried by a strong wind under the hood. Moisture trapped on a spark plug wires and ignition coils interferes with normal spark formation; it must be carefully wiped off with a dry cloth, napkins or a simple handkerchief.

Electrical equipment

The most unpleasant problem of electrical equipment is a lost charger. With a burning emergency charging light (i.e. without an electric generator) and only one battery, you can drive about 100 km or a couple of times less if the headlights and wipers on.

Sometimes it is possible to revive the vital car systems by simply replacing the fuse Sometimes it is possible to revive the vital car systems by simply replacing the fuse

The solution to this and many other key problems of electrics often comes to a blown fuse. It is better to learn the location of the fuse blocks in advance. To find out which one is responsible for the failed system is possible from the factory manual (including the one in your glove compartment), from the Internet, and sometimes from a brief instruction on the cover of the fuse block. Spare fuses and tweezers for removing them from the sockets are often located under the same block lid, what is especially useful in winter when frozen fingers do not respond very well.

Recommendation

Sometimes, even a mild winter can be very severe, and anyone who leaves their locality in winter should be prepared for this in advance. This means that you must always have an emergency survival kit no matter how trendy and cool your car is. It is also useful to learn about the main problems that can immobilize your car in order to have at least an idea of how to solve them. No matter how you look at it, this knowledge and skills of a real driver – and especially a man – will never hurt.

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