Five Common Cold Weather Risks for Your Vehicle

January 29, 2018 8:27 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

We all know how to protect our bodies and our homes from the cold, but what about our cars? Just as with anything else, cold temperatures can take a toll on your vehicle. Performance issues, damage and safety risks are all a problem once the temperatures start to drop. But if you are prepared and keep up to date on car maintenance in Chino, CA, you can avoid most vehicle problems caused by cold weather. The best place to start is by being informed, so here are a few common cold weather risks for your vehicle:

  • Tire pressure: With every 10-degree drop in temperature, you lose a pound per square inch of tire pressure. Tires that are not at optimal air pressure have reduced traction and can become an issue on wet or slippery roads. Be sure that you are checking your tire pressure often during colder weather.
  • Fluids: Vehicle fluids such as engine oil, transmission fluid, steering fluid and brake fluid tend to thicken as the temperature drops. Thickened vehicle fluids can not only damage your engine, but they can also slow down your vehicle’s response time. The best way to avoid any issues is to allow your vehicle to run for about 10 minutes before switching it into gear. The friction of the engine helps to warm up and thin out the fluids in the vehicle.
  • Hoses and belts: Cold weather can actually cause rubber to expand and lose its elasticity, which can cause older hoses, belts and other rubber components inside your vehicle to weaken and crack. A good way to prevent this is to check your belts and hoses for any early signs of damage or wear before the cold weather hits.
  • Batteries: Cold weather can actually decrease the voltage of your car battery, which means that cold temperatures can prevent your vehicle from starting if the battery voltage is too low. Most new batteries will function just fine the first few years, even in freezing temperatures. But if you have an older battery, it’s a good idea to test it before the winter begins.
  • Windshield wipers and washer fluid: In cold temperatures, windshield wipers can tear and crack, which makes them less effective. In addition, windshield washer fluid can actually freeze if it gets cold enough. Before winter starts, swap out your regular windshield washer fluid for winter washer fluid. It’s also a good idea to replace your wipers before winter and to pull the wipers away from your windshield when they are not in use.

Winter can be hard on your vehicle, but only if you’re not prepared. By following these few simple tips, you and your vehicle will have a safe and stress-free winter! But if you do find that your car is having issues due to the cold weather, call Gabriel’s Automotive & Towing. We’ve been offering professional towing services and car maintenance in Chino, CA for over 20 years. If you want to get the most out of your ride this winter, just call on the experts at Gabriel’s Automotive & Towing.

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