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Getting prepared for winter driving

How cold weather affects cars

How to prepare your car for winter

By In Uncategorized On November 15, 2016


Cold weather winter temperatures are like a discriminating filter for marginal batteries, and cooling systems. As soon as the weather drops below freezing, vehicles with weak components start failing. Electrical systems and cooling systems are hit the hardest. Car batteries lose 35 percent of their strength when the temperature drops to 32 degrees F, and 60 percent when the temperature drops to 0 degrees F. Engine oil thickens as it gets colder and causes a strain on the battery as the starter tries to crank the engine over on a cold winter morning. If your car battery is already marginal, you may be stranded as soon as Fall and Winter arrive. Not a good feeling when you have the family in the car headed for grandmas house.

Batteries can be tested to uncover their weakness with a professional type battery tester before the cold weather gets here. This will make sure you get where you need to go over the holidays, and throughout the rest of the winter.

Cooling systems are also adversely affected by cold weather. Engines and cooling systems are made up of different metals and plastics. These materials expand and contract with changing temperatures at different rates. Everything is OK when temperatures stay fairly constant during the summer months, but when temperatures go substantially lower, older seals and hoses can shrink and break the seal which they have when it is warmer. As cars and their components get older, especially hoses and seals, the more they can leak.

The best thing to do, is have the vehicle inspected before winter so old hoses and small leaks can be addressed before they cause a big breakdown. For more information about the topic of how cold weather severely degrades car battery performance, please click the link to read the following article. https://www.comsol.com/blogs/why-car-batteries-perform-poorly-in-cold-weather/