As the winter season blankets the world in a frosty embrace, it brings with it a host of challenges for both drivers and their vehicles. From icy roads to plummeting temperatures, winter poses unique threats to your car’s performance and longevity. Continue reading to learn more from the team at Hogan’s Automotive.
1. Battery Woes
The cold weather is notorious for taking a toll on car batteries. Low temperatures can reduce a battery’s capacity, making it harder for the engine to start. Before winter sets in, have your battery inspected and replace it if necessary. Additionally, keep an eye out for corrosion on the terminals, as this can hinder the flow of electricity.
2. Cold-Weather Fluids
Your car relies on various fluids to function properly, and winter demands special attention to a few of them. Ensure that your engine oil, transmission fluid, and coolant are at the appropriate levels. Cold temperatures can cause fluids to thicken, making it harder for your engine to operate efficiently.
3. Tire Troubles
Icy and snow-covered roads can be treacherous, and having the right tires is crucial for maintaining control. Consider switching to winter tires, which offer better traction in cold conditions. Additionally, regularly check tire pressure, as it tends to decrease in colder weather. Under-inflated tires can reduce fuel efficiency and compromise safety.
4. Frozen Fuel Lines
Fuel lines are susceptible to freezing in extremely low temperatures. Keep your fuel tank at least half full during winter to prevent this. This minimizes the risk of condensation forming in the tank and freezing the fuel lines. Adding a fuel stabilizer can also be beneficial.
5. Brake Maintenance
Icy roads demand responsive brakes. Check your brake fluid levels and ensure your brake pads are in good condition. Cold weather can exacerbate brake issues, so promptly addressing problems is crucial for safety.
6. Visibility Challenges
Winter weather often means reduced visibility due to snow, sleet, or frost. Ensure your windshield wipers are in good condition and replace them if needed. Use winter-grade windshield washer fluid that won’t freeze in low temperatures. Don’t forget to check and replace your vehicle’s lights, ensuring they function properly.
7. Exterior Protection
The winter elements can be harsh on your car’s exterior. Salt used on roads to melt snow and ice can lead to corrosion. Regularly wash your vehicle to remove salt and grime, paying extra attention to the undercarriage. Waxing your car can provide additional protection against the winter elements.