Posted on 01/18/23

Here Are 6 Ways Cold Weather Can Affect Your Car And Tips For Drivers

Here Are 6 Ways Cold Weather Can Affect Your Car And Tips For Drivers

Winter can bring snow, below-freezing, and even negative temperatures depending on where you live. Winter is not the best time to hibernate indoors, so our cars need to work as well in winter as they do in warm weather. This guide will discuss possible issues with your vehicle and what you can do to fix them before they become costly or dangerous.

Top 6 Cold Weather Car Issues and How to Avoid them

1. Incorrect tire pressure

Cold temperatures can cause air to contract, which results in a decrease in tire pressure. Low tire pressure can cause serious problems, including:

  • Tire blowout on roads
  • Fuel efficiency reduced
  • Poor handling and instability
  • Tires with a shorter lifespan

Over-inflated tires can also cause these same problems. You can avoid problems by being proactive and checking your tires once a week. Winter tires are a smart investment if you live in an area with snowy and frigid winters. Make sure your tires are in compliance with the manufacturer's recommendations.

2. Power loss/dead battery

When your car battery goes dead, it can cause serious problems for you when you have to drive to work or go on errands. The battery's ability to retain a charge is affected by cold temperatures, which slow down the chemical processes. Winter failure is more common in older batteries.

Keep a few quality jumper cables handy in your car for when your battery needs an extra boost. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for maintenance and replacement to avoid your battery dying in winter. If your area is extremely cold, you can buy a battery warmer to add an extra layer of protection.

3. Transmission fuel, antifreeze, and oil thickening

Winter's cold can also affect fluids, which are essential for maintaining your car's health. The cold can cause oil, transmission fuel, and antifreeze to thicken, which will make them move slower throughout the system. Diesel vehicles may experience "jelling", which can make it impossible to start. This can be dangerous because the oil cannot be effectively pumped through the engine. It is important to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for winter oil viscosity. This will help maintain vehicle functionality.

If there is moisture or condensation inside your vehicle's fuel lines, it can freeze and make it difficult to start. Make sure to keep your fuel tank full throughout winter. Also, make sure you follow any manufacturer's instructions.

4. Broken windshield

Safety driving is dependent on visibility. However, snow and ice can make it difficult to see the road. Your windshield wipers won't do much to remove ice from your windshield. In fact, you are more likely to damage the wipers. Windshield cracks can spread more when there is a large temperature difference between one side and the other. The cracks will get larger and more severe when the temperature outside is low and the inside of the vehicle is warm.

Instead, warm your vehicle for a few moments and let the snow and ice melt on the windshield. You can keep your defroster on all the time, and if your visibility gets worse, stop driving until it stops.

5. Slow technology and screens

Your vehicle's technology, including touchscreens, backup cameras, and GPS navigation, is extremely useful in helping you move safely and efficiently. Frost can cause these systems to malfunction or slow down. Why? Liquid crystal is used to control them. It thickens and moves slower through the system, just like other fluids. This can be avoided by warming up the car before you start listening to your favorite podcast or following directions.

6. Rubber components that crack or are stiff

Although rubber doesn't freeze it can become stiffer and less elastic in cold temperatures. This can have a significant impact on the functionality of your car. It can even make it difficult to enter your car because the rubber gaskets between the doors may crack, allowing water in and freezing the doors. Other rubber parts, such as the motor's belts and wiper blades, can also become brittle and crack. These issues can be avoided if your vehicle is inspected before winter so that everything is in top shape.

How cold weather affects Electric Vehicles (EVs).

Winter weather can also affect EVs. Low temperatures reduce efficiency as the battery needs to use more energy to keep the car running and also heat the interior. The vehicle will take longer to charge, so it's important that you keep it charged regularly. You can find other winter EV tips and tricks here.

Winter is Coming

Winter driving problems shouldn't be a problem, even though cold weather is inevitable.

Make sure you are ready for the chaos that winter can cause by having your car inspected before it starts. You can ensure that your car is operating at its best and any problems are addressed before they become worse. Check out our tips to buy a used car if you are buying it for winter conditions. Move Car Auto Transport will be there to help you with your vehicle shipping needs. Let us transport your vehicle if you are traveling down south for winter. Call us to get started.