How the Cold Affects Your Car

Posted onDecember 15th, 2016 byFrank

It’s official, Chicago. Winter has arrived! These freezing temperatures might be a hassle to us, but it can be truly detrimental to our vehicles. Ever sit in your car in the morning waiting forever for it to warm up? As the temperature goes down, the likelihood of your car having problems goes up. Below are some of the most common winter car problems and what you can do to combat them.

Low Tire Pressure

The cold weather affects tire pressure. For every ten degrees (F) that the temperature falls, your car’s tires can lose up to 1 PSI (pound per square inch) of pressure. Tires with low pressure are dangerous because they increase the likelihood of a flat or pop. Under-inflation also makes tires function poorly in ice and snow

In order to prevent low tire pressure from putting your car at risk this winter, make sure to check tire pressure frequently and inflate them when necessary. The best option for winter weather is getting new winter tires.

Dead Batteries

When the weather gets cold, it affects your car’s battery. Extreme cold weather pulls voltage from a battery making it more difficult to start. This is often why your car won’t start in during the cold winter months.

Ideally you would have your battery checked before it starts to get cold outside and have it replaced if there are any signs of trouble. If you didn’t do this, there’s still hope. You should always keep your car parked in the garage during the winter!

Frozen Fluids

There are several different fluids that your car uses to function. These include everything from oil, to brake and transmission fluids, to antifreeze, and even windshield wiper solvent. During the wintertime when temperatures are freezing, these fluids either thicken or freeze. Even gasoline can freeze at certain temperatures.

Make sure to frequently check all the fluids in your vehicle and make sure they are filled up. Make sure to use the correct amount of anti-freeze, and use freeze-resistant options when possible for things like windshield wiper fluid.