Top 4 Cold Weather Vehicle Problems

Low winter temperatures can put a lot of strain on your car. Learn about what the most common problems are and how you can combat them. Just a few facts will keep you and your family safe from point A to point B.

Cold Causes Engine Fluids to Thicken

Car fluids contain additives to keep them from freezing, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t affected at all by freezing temperatures. When the weather is very cold fluids become thicker and move more slowly. The most dangerous of thickened fluids are transmission and brake fluids. Both are generally needed to maintain car performance.

What to Do: Check your fluids and replace or top off as needed. Wait a minute or two after starting your car before driving, this will give fluids time to warm up.

Engine Warm Up is Essential in Cold Weather

In general, our engine will struggle to run well when temperatures drop below zero. This causes your vehicle to use a lot of gasoline very quickly to keep from stalling. This lowers efficiency and causes build-up of water vapor. Heaters will also suck up a lot of energy from your engine.

What to Do: Let your car run for a while (and avoid immediately putting on the heater) to stabilize the engine and shed water vapor.

Cold Temps Can Cause Engine Block Cracking

Some engine blocks are in danger of cracking. This is only a concern in older or more delicate cars that are more vulnerable to below freezing temperatures.

What to do: Keep coolant topped off and make sure it is the correct formula for your car.

Tires Lose Pressure in the Cold

Tire pressure tends to vary according to temperature and a drop in temperature can cause your tires to deflate quickly. Some tires are made with rubber materials, so they will harden when the weather gets cold, causing tread and gripping problems in all-season tires.

What to Do: Check your recommended tire pressure and consider investing in winter tread tires.

Contact the reliable mechanics at Performance Auto for more information about keeping your vehicle maintained during cold weather.

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