Okay, my car is frozen. it's negative Fahrenheit over here now. What I've tried: jump start, warm up starter, new spark plugs. nothing helps.

I guess the only approach is to heat it in the garage, but no available garage and tow at this time. so, I was thinking about covering the hood with rugs and putting heater underneath, but I'm not sure what kind of heater will help. Do you know what heater should I get so it's gonig to be enough?

How to prevent car from freezing if I have no block heater? do I need a tune-up? what kind of a tune-up?

  • 1
    If it is a gas engine you should be able to get it to fire eventually as long as the coolant is still liquid and the engine is functioning. Is it EFI?
    – Nick
    Jan 29, 2012 at 14:27
  • Agree, unless it's a Diesel and the fuel has solidified or the coolant is frozen (which actually shouldn't stop the engine from turning over but if the water pump is driven by the timing belt will have dire consequences), it should start eventually. Jan 29, 2012 at 15:48
  • Sounds like the starter isn't turning over at all, yes? Either the starter has failed (new starter time) or it is jammed somehow (engine physically frozen). Jan 30, 2012 at 1:27
  • 5
    If the starter isn't actually turning the engine over, you can try the tried and tested method af walloping the starter motor with a hammer. I had one car which responded well to this treatment.
    – Rory Alsop
    Jan 30, 2012 at 18:16
  • What's frozen? 0F should be nothing for a car unless you're somehow set for tropics.
    – XTL
    Mar 20, 2012 at 18:51

1 Answer 1


Please bear in mind that this is risky and you may not want to do it with an expensive car, or without a fire extinguisher handy. When my cooling system froze, I jacked up the front a bit, took a butane camping stove and put it under the engine, and left it lit for a few minutes. Solved the problem in a hurry, but I'd already ruined the water pump the first time I tried to start the engine with the cooling system frozen.

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