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When should I plug in my car?

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

With the upcoming cold temperatures over the weekend when should I plug in my car?

Natural Resources Canada says to plug in a car two hours before you drive. But CAA Manitoba says your car needs to be plugged in for 3-4 hours, especially when it's colder.

According to CAA Manitoba:

An automotive battery loses 40 per cent of its charge at -18C, while a starter may need twice as much electrical power to start a cold engine.

CAA Manitoba further recommends:

Plug your vehicle in at least three hours before driving it.

Signs of a weak battery are slow engine cranking, dim headlights and illumination of the battery/charging system warning light on the dashboard.

Plugging in your car is important on those winter days that drop below -20C to insure better fuel efficiency (NRCAN) and proper vehicle functionality during those -30C to -40C days.

According to CAA Manitoba:

Keeping the engine block warm ensures oil, coolant and other liquids stay fluid, enabling the engine to start easily.

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