How Cold Weather Affects Your Vehicle

February 9, 2021 Published by Leave your thoughts

We often don’t realize how much we rely on our vehicles until the extremes of weather come around. In the winter, our cars can be a shelter against snow, hail, rain, blustery winds and bone-chilling cold. If something goes wrong with your vehicle, it can be even harder to deal with when it’s freezing outside, so here are some things to be aware of regarding cold weather and your car in Lubbock, TX.

Preventive winter maintenance

Many problems caused by cold weather can be avoided or mitigated by keeping up with routine vehicle maintenance:

  • Keep your tires inflated: During the winter months, the cold air contracts—including the air inside your tires. Because of this, your tires will naturally lose pressure when the weather gets cold. Make sure to keep an eye on your tire pressure levels and manually check them at least once a month.
  • Top off all fluids: Oil, transmission fluid and even antifreeze can thicken in cold weather. The best way to avoid this is to make sure all fluids are at the right levels, and not too low, when winter starts to kick in. This will help reduce the amount of time you need to warm up your vehicle before driving, too.
  • Tilt windshield wipers up: During particularly cold spells, windshield wipers can freeze to the glass. If that happens, they might break or peel if turned on without unsticking them first. To avoid this, if you know it’s going to be particularly cold overnight, you can tilt the wipers up, just like when you scrub the windshield while washing your car.
  • Wash your car once a month: When it snows, that road slurry gets kicked up into the wheel wells and other parts of your vehicle. This can have a corrosive effect, especially when there is salt on the roads. To avoid any lingering problems, wash your car once a month and give the wheel wells a thorough spraying.

Major problems

Even with the best maintenance schedule, sometimes a major problem can happen to your vehicle. Here are a few problems to watch out for that can be sparked by cold weather:

  • Frozen fuel lines: Empty gas tanks can create condensation that can freeze in your fuel lines during the winter. Keeping your tank at least half full will help avoid this problem.
  • Dead battery: Nobody wants to have to deal with a dead battery, especially if it’s in the morning when you need to get to work. Car batteries are affected by cold weather, and when it gets below freezing, it’s harder for the battery to start the car. It’s a good idea to check your battery’s capacity at the start of the cold season, especially if it’s an older battery, and replace it if necessary.
  • Slipping transmission. Cold weather can cause a transmission system to freeze or slip. Check for transmission leaks, sudden gear changes or strange noises, as these can be a sign of a larger problem.

For all problems large and small, and for general vehicle maintenance in Lubbock, TX, visit M & M Tire & Service Center.

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