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How Cold Weather Can Affect Your Vehicle

Date Published
15/12/2023
Published by
Ash

Cold weather can take a toll on your vehicle, affecting various parts and potentially causing issues. You should take the time to understand these issues and the effects they have on your vehicle. There are preventive measures you can take to maintain your vehicle’s health during the colder months.

How to Avoid Damaging Your Windscreen In Winter:

While modern windscreens are durable, cold temperatures can still pose a risk. Sudden temperature changes can cause the glass to expand or contract. Leading to cracks in your windscreen’s glass. 

Preventive measures:

To prevent this, avoid sudden temperature changes where possible. Park your car in sheltered areas or use a windscreen cover to mitigate extreme temperature shifts. Do not pour boiling water over your windscreen to defrost it. Instead, put on your heaters and allow them to gradually defrost your windscreen. Or if you’re tight for time use a good quality de-icer.

How Ice Affects Your Windscreen Wipers

Wipers can freeze on your windscreen in cold weather. Leading to potential damage if forced to move.

Preventive measures:

Lift the wipers away from the windshield when parking to prevent them from sticking. Using a de-icer or rubbing alcohol solution can help melt ice on the windscreen and wipers.

Cold Weather Causes Tyre Pressure Issues

Lower temperatures cause air inside tyres to contract, resulting in lower tyre pressure.

Preventive measures:

Regularly check and maintain tyre pressure at the manufacturer’s recommended levels. Inflate tyres properly to avoid issues caused by temperature fluctuations.

Rubber hardening:

Tyre rubber hardens in the cold, reducing grip, especially in all-season tyres. Consider using winter-specific tyres for better traction in colder temperatures.

Can You Wash Your Car In Winter? 

Salt used on the roads can lead to corrosion and damage to the vehicle’s undercarriage and paintwork.

Preventive measures:

Regularly wash your car, paying attention to the undercarriage, to remove salt deposits. Utilise specialised products like Autobrite’s Magifoam to effectively lift and remove salt and grime. Clean your vehicle properly and don’t allow it to freeze. You can read more of our tips on how to clean your vehicle in winter here.

Autobrite Direct Mobile car valeting and detailing service

How Is Your Car Battery Affected In Winter?

Cold weather is harsh on car batteries, leading to a higher chance of a dead battery when starting the car.

Preventive measures:

Ensure connections are clean, tight, and free of corrosion. Consider replacing batteries older than three years. Keep jumper cables handy in case of emergencies.

Problems Starting Your Car Engine In Winter

Car engines face challenges in cold weather, requiring more fuel to start and maintain operation. Additionally, water vapour can accumulate in low temperatures. This can potentially lead to issues like freezing and cracking of the engine block.

Preventive measures:

Running the engine for longer periods helps dispel accumulated water vapour. Reducing the risk of freezing and damage. Delay using the heating system immediately after starting the engine. This retains the necessary heat for efficient engine operation.

Fluids Thickening Due To Cold Temperatures

Car oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, and other vital vehicle fluids can thicken in cold weather. Thickened fluids move more slowly, posing risks to performance and safety.

Preventive measures:

Thickened oil can compromise performance. While sluggish brake fluid can affect braking effectiveness. Regularly checking and topping up fluids is essential in colder temperatures.

Cold weather presents several challenges for vehicles. From potential windscreen damage to tyre pressure issues and battery concerns. By taking proactive measures—such as proper maintenance and using the right products. you can mitigate these risks and ensure your vehicle remains in good condition. 

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