The cold weather can affect your car in more ways than you might know. Here, SGS Engineering take a look at the different ways that winter can damage your car and how you can prevent this from happening.
Essential Winter Car Maintenance
The battery has to work harder to start the car when it is cold because its capacity is reduced. Before winter, make sure that you have it tested for its capacity, and if it is three or four years old then you may need to consider replacing it. If you can, keep your car in a garage.
In cold temperatures the fluids in your car will become thicker and more viscous, which means that they will not flow as freely. Things like oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, etc. won’t be able to move, which means that if they are too cold they could cause issues in your car.
Tyre Pressure can Fluctuate
In very extreme temperatures, tyre pressure can change. When it’s cold, tyre pressure can decrease when not moving, and increase when the car is moving. Be sure to check your tyre pressure regularly, as otherwise it can shorten the life of your tyre through uneven wear and even blowout on the road.
Windshields are Vulnerable
Spark Plug Reliability
The cold weather will make your engine difficult to start anyway, so having a bad spark plug, ignition component or clogged filter will make it worse. Before winter rolls around, make sure that you check these things so that they are in tip top shape for when the temperature drops.
The effectiveness of road salt is debateable. It helps melt the snow and provides some grip on the road, but after a certain temperature and a certain amount of snowfall, it loses its effectiveness. Either way, the advice is to drive carefully.
Make Sure You:
- Switch off things like lights, wipers, heaters, etc. before switching off your engine. This prevents any unnecessary drain on the battery when you start up.
- Avoid using heaters and heated screens for longer than you have to, to avoid putting high demands on the battery.
- Park in a garage wherever possible.
- Get your battery tested.
- Regularly check your boot and/or bonnet are opening and closing successfully.
- Get in touch with SGS regarding new and replacement gas struts should you find they’re not performing as well as they used to and we’ll find source the right options for you.
Should you warm up your Car?
If you’re warming your engine up before you start driving, then some argue that you should turn off the heaters for the interior of the car. In doing this, you make sure that all the heat energy is directed towards the engine.
However, many people also need to be warm in order to drive the car, so it might defeat the object to turn the heaters off. It’s therefore up to you – it may be better for your engine to heat it up first, but most of us don’t have time to wait for the engine to heat up and then wait for the interior to heat up too.