What Cold Weather Does to Your Car and How to Protect It

The winter can be rough on cars. It’s not just the ice and snow that are problems, but rather the cold itself. There are a few types of typical car damage that can occur when the temperature begins to drop and it’s vital that every driver knows what to look out for during the winter.

Battery Problems

If you’ve ever noticed that your car has trouble starting in the winter, you can blame the battery. Cold weather actually reduces the voltage of the battery, making it harder for your engine to start. If you want to avoid this problem, simply make sure that you park your car inside. If you can’t park in the garage, make sure to keep an eye on your battery and to keep jumper cables nearby just in case the worst comes to pass.

Wiper Issues

Cold weather has an impact on any moving part of your car. Your windshield wipers are especially vulnerable to extreme cold, to the degree that they can actually crack or break when the weather gets cold enough. Keeping your wipers in one piece will usually mean scraping off excess ice or snow before you engage your wipers and always ensuring that your wipers are unfrozen before you start up your car. If you notice any problems with your wipers, make sure to get them replaced—this is one of those car repairs that will help you to avoid catastrophic damage later down the road.

Fluid Woes

Everyone knows that liquids freeze in cold weather. What you may not realize, though, is that your car’s fluids will start to thicken even before the temperature drops below freezing. The biggest problem here is transmission fluid, which will start to get thicker at around thirty-five degrees. Other fluids, like oil, windshield washer fluid, and antifreeze will likewise cause problems as the mercury continues to drop. Park your car inside when you can, and make sure to let your car warm up (and to let your fluids re-liquify) before you get on the road.

These three problems are common issues faced by drivers in the winter, but they’re all preventable. Make sure to keep your car out of the cold as much as you can and to respect the fact that your car’s not operating at its optimal state when you cannot. If you can keep an eye on how your car is functioning, you should be able to avoid major winter disasters.

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