Is it Dangerous to Leave Your Car Outside in the Cold?

A red car on a snowy road.

Auto technology has become so advanced, you might wonder whether those warnings you’ve heard about cars and cold weather still apply today. It’s true that cars are generally better designed and more efficient than they were in the past. And milder winters can also translate to fewer auto problems, depending on the region. Still, when temperatures dip below zero it can take a toll on a vehicle, in more ways than one. It will help to be fully prepared before the next cold snap rolls around. 

Extreme Cold Can Prevent Your Car Battery from Functioning Properly

One of the biggest risks in cold weather is the impact it can have on a car battery, which can only function when enough electrons are able to move to the positive terminal. When it’s very cold out, those electrons can become sluggish. It may take more current to move the wires in a battery, which can in turn be a drain on your engine. The breakdown of this system is a frequent cause of battery problems. 

Some drivers install a battery blanket to keep their batteries from freezing. But the truth is, there isn’t an exact science to battery failure. Some simply last longer than others. Routine visits to an auto mechanic are a good way to gauge the health of your battery and engine, as well as all of the other components that will keep your vehicle running throughout the winter. 

Fluids Take Longer to Heat Up

Naturally, frigid temperatures can also cause fluids to thicken in a vehicle, changing their makeup and negatively impacting the car’s performance. In addition to parking indoors when possible, there are some other ways to keep your fluids at a healthy consistency. A block heater that screws into your engine block can be used to warm up your coolant, and in turn the engine block. This helps engines to turn over easier on those harsh winter days. If you’re unsure whether yours is installed, have it tested to ensure it’s working properly. An oil pan heater to keep the viscosity of oil tinner is another consideration, in addition to high-quality synthetic oil, which helps to maintain the viscosity of the oil in wintertime. 

Even A Cold Garage Is Better Than Parking Outdoors

Whether a car is parked outdoors overnight can also lead to weather-related issues, as that can mean more hours all of those key components are sitting in below-freezing temperatures. Even an unheated garage can provide enough of a buffer from the cold to keep your car engine purring in the morning. However, the battery is a slightly different story. Don’t assume that just because it’s parked in a garage that the battery is fine. Those short trips to run errands are not always enough to keep it charged. Longer drives will be necessary to fully charge the battery, so be sure to take your car out for a spin now and then, even in the winter.

Some Electric Vehicle (EV) Stations May Operate More Slowly

If you drive an electric vehicle (EV), you may have other concerns, as frigid weather has been shown to take a toll on some EV stations. In extreme cases, either the stations haven’t worked or it simply took longer to charge up the vehicles. These issues may be addressed, as the stations are based on newer technology. However, ensuring EVs can be recharged is yet another safety consideration for some drivers heading out in dangerously cold weather. 

An LS Engine Swap Can Provide Better Performance All Year Round

When the weather isn’t ideal, it can be a comfort knowing you have the strongest engine possible. The great thing about LS engines is that they can add power to all types of vehicles – and used ones are just as effective if you get your engine and engine parts from a reliable supplier. If your current engine is lagging, consider swapping it out for a superior LS engine. The difference in performance will last long after winter is in the rear view mirror.

Find out more about engine swaps by contacting our team at, or call us today at 316-300-0833.

Thanks for reading! Want to catch all the updates coming on our latest projects?




Share this blog on