Can Cold Weather Damage My Car?

With the current freezing cold temperatures and wind chill reports, you may be concerned how the cold weather will affect various areas of your life. From skin and hair, to roofing, plumbing, landscaping, and energy bills, winter weather can bring about a lot of undesirable changes and conditions. But one of the most vital assets that many tend to overlook are cars. Have you considered whether or not freezing cold temperatures can harm your vehicle?

Continue reading to learn how cold climates might affect your car, and what you can do to protect it this season.

ASE Certified Auto Service 317-475-1846
ASE Certified Auto Service 317-475-1846

Cold Temperatures and Cars

There are various ways cold temperatures and winter weather can negatively affect vehicles. Problems with car batteries, fluids, windshield wipers, tires, and more, can arise as a result of cold climates and freezing conditions. Here is more about each common issue, including recommended preventive measures and remedies:

☑ Dead Car Batteries

A common automotive malfunction that can be caused by extreme low temperatures are dead car batteries. Although most modern car batteries are designed to last an average of 3 years and withstand cold temperatures, it is possible for them to lose voltage in extreme or persistent conditions. The loss of voltage makes it harder for a vehicle to start, thus killing the battery.

☑ Thickening Fluids

Another common issue with cars and cold weather is fluid thickening. All vehicles requires a list of specific automotive fluids for safe and optimal performance, including motor oil, radiator fluid (coolant/antifreeze), transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and battery fluid. Extreme cold temperatures can cause automotive fluid to thicken, and become too viscous to perform properly. If your car feels sluggish, drives slow, or does not start, it could be due to this issue.

☑ Tire Pressure

Cold temperatures can also cause tire pressure problems, most commonly, low tire pressure and deflated tires. The general, accepted rule of thumb is that a tire loses 1 pound per square inch (psi) for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit of temperature drop. Not only do under or deflated tires perform poorly, they are unsafe and can lead to other automotive problems.

☑ Windshield Wiper Malfunctions

Freezing temperatures means freezing liquids. And although most windshield wiper fluids are specially designed to resist freezing, they can still freeze over in extreme low temperatures. Another issue with cold weather and windshield wipers are motor malfunctions. The ice can cause stress and fractures in the wiper motor, as well as, the blades themselves.

Get the Best Advice for Winter Car Care

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