How Freezing Temperatures Affect Your Car
This week, Texas is experiencing its annual taste of real winter weather with temperatures plummeting to the low teens. While we hope you and your family and friends have stayed safe and warm throughout the recent severe weather, one significant area often overlooked is the impact of freezing temperatures on our vehicles. Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on cars, affecting everything from the engine to the tires. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various ways in which your car copes with below freezing temperatures and what steps you can take to ensure it stays in optimal condition.
Engine Struggles: When the temperature drops below freezing, the oil in your car’s engine becomes thicker, making it harder for the engine to turn over. This can lead to difficulties starting your car. To mitigate this, consider using a thinner oil during the winter months. Additionally, allowing your car to warm up for a few minutes before driving can help the engine adjust to the cold.
Battery Blues: Cold weather is notorious for draining car batteries. The chemical reactions within a battery slow down in freezing temperatures, reducing its ability to produce power. Ensure that your battery is in good condition and consider replacing it if it’s old or weak. Keep in mind that parking your car in a garage or using a battery warmer can also extend its life.
Tire Troubles: Freezing temperatures can lead to a decrease in tire pressure. Underinflated tires can result in poor traction and reduced fuel efficiency. Regularly check your tire pressure during the winter months and inflate them to the recommended levels. Investing in winter tires with better grip can further enhance your vehicle’s performance in icy conditions.
Fluid Freezing: Various fluids in your car, such as antifreeze and windshield washer fluid, are susceptible to freezing. Ensure that your antifreeze is at the proper concentration to prevent it from solidifying. Using a winter-grade windshield washer fluid that is designed for subzero temperatures can prevent it from freezing and improve visibility.
Frozen Locks and Doors: Subzero temperatures can lead to frozen locks and doors, making it challenging to access your vehicle. Apply a silicone-based lubricant to door seals and locks to prevent freezing. Keeping a de-icer handy can also be useful in thawing frozen locks quickly.
Warming Up Inside: Cold temperatures can make the interior of your car unbearably chilly. To combat this, consider investing in a car heater or seat warmers. Additionally, using a windshield cover can help prevent frost buildup on the inside of your windshield.
Brake Concerns: Cold weather can affect the performance of your brakes. Ice buildup on brake components or a decrease in brake fluid efficiency can compromise braking effectiveness. Regularly check your brakes and brake fluid to ensure they are in good condition.
While freezing temperatures pose several challenges to your car’s functionality, taking proactive measures can help mitigate potential issues. Regular maintenance, using the right fluids, and investing in winter-specific accessories are key to ensuring your vehicle weathers the cold months smoothly. By understanding how your car responds to below freezing temperatures, you can take the necessary steps to keep it running reliably throughout the winter season.
This week, if you find yourself having car trouble after days of freezing temperatures, please give us a call right away. We provide free inspections and would be more than happy to take a look at your vehicle if something isn’t working quite right. Squeaky breaks, noisy engines, problematic tire pressure, and frozen fluids are all reasons to give Accelerate Auto Repair and Collision a call. We’ll be more than happy to take a look at your vehicle, figure out what’s going on, and get you back on the road as soon as possible. Reach us today at 469-501-5115.