During the cold winter months, your car will likely experience mechanical problems. According to auto experts, extremely low temperatures cause car problems because metal shrinks in cold temperatures. Below is a list of some common car problems in winter:
1. Thickening Fluids
When temperatures reach sub-zero levels, car fluids such as antifreeze, oil and transmission fluid will likely thicken or become less viscous. This way, the fluids are more likely to move less freely within your car’s systems. To counter this, experts recommend you leave your car engine running for at least 10 minutes to warm up the fluids. You should also consider changing your car fluids before temperatures fall. Maintaining the fluids at recommended levels is advisable.
2. Dead Battery
A dead battery is among the most prevalent of car problems that you are likely to experience in the winter. When temperatures drop below freezing point, your car battery gets overworked. A dead battery can also be caused due to the fact that batteries power a lot of systems in the winter in comparison to other seasons. This includes your car heater and fog headlights. In the long run, the battery’s capacity is likely to be diminished. Furthermore, if your car battery is 3 or 4 years old, you should consider purchasing a new one ahead of the cold season. The battery’s capacity should be checked to determine whether it can pull through the cold season. This will also help you avoid a host of other car problems associated with dead car batteries.
3. Frozen Fuel Lines
This is a notable car problem that you may encounter in the winter. Your car’s fuel lines may freeze during the cold weather because of condensation which tends to form in the gas tank. More so when you run low on fuel. Freezing temperatures may also cause the condensation to freeze preventing the fuel from reaching your car’s engine. This may explain why you experience numerous car problems during winter.
4. Wiper Failure
This common car problem is caused by failure to clear windshields before turning on the wipers. Cold weather, typically characterized by rain and hailstorms causes wiper blades to get torn and transmissions to break. When temperatures dip, it also overrides your washer fluid’s freezing point. Because the blades are made from rubber, pressure from snow, slush and ice will likely break them. Set your car’s fan controls and heater on defrost overnight to prevent wiper failure and other related car problems when temperatures fall below freezing point. This lowers the chances of broken knobs and switches.
5. Tire Pressure
When temperatures drop the tire pressure of your car can fluctuate. Tire pressure also decreases when your car is stationary. You should check the tire pressure indicator on your dashboard regularly every time you start your car. This will help you avoid car problems that are related to low or high tire pressure. Normally, such problems lead to irregular wear and tear – this is what shortens the lifespan of your tire. It can also cause a total tire blowout during your drive.
When water penetrates cracks on the road during winter, pavements tend to chip away, which paves way for the formation of potholes. This tends to happen during constant freeze-thaw cycles. Damage of this sort can also occur to your car when water freezes with your car’s steering, engine transmission, and braking systems. This leads to cracks and leakages that ultimately cause total malfunctioning.