As cold weather settles in, it isn’t uncommon for your car to begin experiencing its own myriad of problems. From the threat of rust to the risk of a dead battery, winter presents some unique challenges and can be responsible for a wide range of damage to your car. Understanding the most common forms of winter car damage is a great first step to protecting your car throughout the season.
At Paskett Auto, we understand just how detrimental this season can be to your vehicle. Our team has compiled a list of the most common winter car damage, so you can prepare accordingly and prevent costly repairs throughout the coldest months. If you want to keep your car safe this winter, keep reading to see what we recommend.
Understanding the Impact of Winter on Your Car
While your car is strong enough to withstand the cold, it isn’t going to do so without some risk of damage. Throughout the cold winter months, you may find yourself dealing with more car problems than you do throughout the remainder of the year. Cold weather can be especially harsh on different parts of your car, making it more difficult for your car to run.
This colder weather can thicken essential fluids, freeze motor components, and impact your fuel economy. With extreme temperature fluctuations and unsafe road conditions, it isn’t hard to understand why more car owners experience damage to their vehicles throughout these colder months. By understanding this common winter car damage, however, you can do your part to keep your car and yourself safe.
Failing Spark Plugs
While new spark plugs shouldn’t experience too many problems during the winter months, it isn’t uncommon for older spark plugs to struggle through the cold. Older spark plugs are more susceptible to corrosion, making it difficult for them to spark once temperatures drop. When they fail to spark, you may be stuck out in the cold.
To protect yourself from this winter car damage, it is best to schedule a maintenance appointment ahead of time to ensure they’re in the best working condition. If they aren’t, it is best to replace your spark plugs before they cause more problems. Don’t put this replacement off, as waiting may leave you stranded when you’re least prepared for it.
Changing temperatures are known for causing fluctuations in your tire pressure, leaving you with low tires when they drop. For every ten degrees, the temperature drops, your tire pressure can drop 1 psi. When the weather fluctuates or drops 30 or more degrees, this may mean that your tire pressure drops well below the recommended PSI.
If you notice your low tire pressure sensor coming on, don’t ignore it. Improperly inflated tires can wear more quickly or unevenly, requiring replacement before their lifespan is up. They may even make navigating icy roads more difficult. As soon as the sensor comes on, fill them up to keep yourself and your tires safe from winter car damage.
Your car’s battery needs to be replaced every four to five years to ensure everything runs smoothly. However, you may not have replaced it in quite some time, leading to a higher risk of experiencing a dead battery throughout the winter months. As it gets colder, your car battery may lose as much as 60% of its power, making a dead battery one of the most common forms of winter car damage.
To protect yourself from a dead battery during the winter, it is best to have it tested during your winter maintenance appointment. Your mechanic will be able to tell you whether your battery needs replacing or recharging before the cold really settles in. Prevent unexpected dead batteries this winter and have it checked out by a mechanic ahead of the cold weather.
When the temperature dips below freezing, it doesn’t just impact your engine. Things like your locks, door handles, and windshield wipers may also freeze under these lower temperatures. Moisture that creeps in may make it difficult to open car doors, roll down windows, or properly clear your windshield.
When dealing with frozen mechanisms, it is best to act with caution. Use products designed for deicing to address frozen locks or doors, as any other product, like hot water, may lead to more problems. As for your windshield wipers, it is best to clear away ice and snow before attempting to use them, as the cold weather may make them brittle and lead to premature breaks.
It isn’t uncommon for car owners to experience damage to their windshield during the winter months, especially if they are dealing with minor damage before the cold hits. As the temperatures drop, the glass on your windshield contracts. This contraction can lead to the spread of even the smallest cracks or chips on your windshield.
While you might think the small crack or chip on your windshield isn’t worth addressing, repairing it promptly may save you more money in the long run. If you notice any minor damage to your windshield, address it before the weather gets too cold to avoid costly windshield replacements.
Repair Winter Car Damage with Paskett Auto
While there are many things you can do to protect yourself from common winter car damage, some damage is unavoidable. If you’re experiencing winter car damage, turn to our team at Paskett Auto for help. With years of experience maintaining and repairing cars from across the Wasatch Front, we’re confident that we can help you as well.
From oil changes and windshield wiper blade replacement to brake inspections and tire rotations, our team does it all. If you are dealing with winter car damage, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today for help.