05/01/2022 by Aveley Garage & M.O.T. Centre 0 Comments
6 Car Issues to Look Out for This Winter
Every British motorist is well-versed in how to endure extreme weather in the UK. But the reality is that cars are affected just as much as people when temperatures start to drop. After all, cars can’t put on a sweater or turn up the heat.
Vehicles parked outside are exposed to snow, sleet, and rain, which can contribute to a ton of mechanical issues. Even vehicles parked in a garage and away from the elements will still be affected by plummeting temperatures. Car problems in the winter are inevitable, which is why it’s crucial for motorists to know how to protect their cars from sub-zero temperatures.
We have gathered the most common car issues to look out for during the winter and how to avoid them.
Frozen Windshield Wipers
If you think that your windshield wipers don’t need maintenance, think again. They actually become extremely vulnerable in cold, freezing weather. Sometimes, the wipers freeze to the windshield, causing the blades to tear when the wipers are turned on.
This explains why drivers often discover a broken wiper when they turn on the windshield when it’s pouring rain, sleeting, or snowing. When the cold season comes, make checking your windshield wiper blades a part of regular maintenance. Consider buying winter wiper blades as they are specifically designed for icy conditions. Also, always clear accumulated ice and snow from the windshield and test the wipers before driving.
Faulty Spark Plugs
Another car issue to look out for are failed spark plugs. Most vehicle owners neglect the spark plugs when doing winter preparation, but they should not leave these plugs unnoticed. Car engines need more attention than any other parts when the temperatures drip.
Older spark plugs are more susceptible to corrosion, which explains why they fail when it’s cold. The corrosion makes it hard for them to make a spark. As a result, drivers are left out in the cold.
That is why spark plugs should be checked as part of winter maintenance. Old, worn, or cracked plugs should be replaced, otherwise they will not fire during the winter.
Perhaps among the most common car issues that every car owner will have to face in cold winter months is having a dead car battery. Every auto repair centre and mechanic can attest that it’s a top reason customers call them in the winter. Your car battery loses about 35% of its power when the mercury dips down to 32 degrees, and it loses 60% of its oomph when it’s zero degrees outside.
When you start your car engine in cold weather, it will take up twice the amount of energy as required on a normal day. Your car battery should be ready to take on the cold. Have it tested along with the engine’s starting and charging functions, unless it’s a new battery or less than one year old.
Flat tyres are never fun, especially in cold weather. The changing temperatures cause fluctuations in tyre pressure. A mere drop of 10 degrees will already drop about 1 PSI from a tyre, which means that a 30-degree temperature drop will put tyres below their recommended PSI.
Temperature drops will also affect things like traction and the overall life of the tyre. Even handling tyres make it difficult when they fall below their recommended PSI. As such, make sure that the tyres are properly inflated. You also might want to consider changing your existing tyres to heavier snow tyres.
From dead batteries to flat tyres, another top reason for service calls are frozen locks. It can be so frustrating when your vehicle is wet and the water freezes in the locks. To avoid frozen locks, keep a can of de-icer on hand.
Hand sanitizer can also come in handy. It has a high amount of ethanol and isopropanol alcohol to melt the ice. Remember not to force your car key into a frozen lock, or force it to turn when it’s stuck. This can cause damage not only to the lock but to your car key as well.
As people sprinkle a lot of salt on the roads to clear the snow and ice, be careful not to get any salt in your car’s engine. Salt is very corrosive to metal, and it can start corroding your car’s engine without you knowing it. If you’re driving on recently salted roads, be sure to wash your car thoroughly.
Inspect the brakes, wheel wells, and undercarriage. Make regular car wash a part of your car maintenance routine during the cold months.
Be sure to follow the tips we have laid out to avoid the above-mentioned winter car issues. As part of your winter preparation, have your car inspected over at Aveley Garage and MOT Centre. From coolants and tyres to batteries and windshield wipers, we inspect every part of your vehicle to ensure it can take on the cold.