It is freezing cold outside and you have to drive to get to your destination. You get in the car and hit the road. A couple of minutes into the journey and suddenly your car begins to skid. You manage to avoid collision and come to a halt but now you’re stuck in a snowbank. Welcome to winter! Driving conditions are terrible, to say the least, during this period. And the freezing temperatures can cause damage to cars. It helps to know what to do in difficult situations. Read on to learn about common car issues that arise in winter and how to prevent/fix them.
This comes first on the list because it is arguably the most prevalent. Cold temperatures are not favourable for car batteries at all. During winter, car batteries lose significant amounts of energy. Take, for instance, starting a car. Your battery uses up twice as much current to get the engine running. Not to mention the power plugged-in electronic devices your car consumes plus the car heater that is a necessity in winter. There is a high chance your battery would pack up at some point with all of this burden. Get your battery tested before winter and make sure it’s in good shape. If it fails on the road, a portable battery jumper cable onsite should help. That way you can get it powered up without having to call for help.
Heard about road salt before? It is used to melt ice on the roads. This is a good thing but it portends danger for your car. When this salt gets attached to the metal components of your car it can lead to corrosion. The resultant rustic patches will make your car lose its shine. Whenever you notice traces of salt, be sure to have it washed away as soon as possible before any real damage is done. It is best practice to wash your car regularly in the wintry season to keep salt away. Automatic washing helps get rid of salt well as it is easier to expel foreign materials from the undercarriage as well as the wheels of the car.
It is not uncommon to wake up in the morning and find your windshield wiper frozen in winter. That happens all the time to many people. But there’s a way to prevent this. At night, place the wiper blades up instead of the usual position. They won’t be frozen in this new position. If you already have a frozen wiper, set your defroster on high with the temperature dial set to warm. This warm air is channeled to the base of the windshield and before you know it your wipers should be movable again. You can also use a de-ice spray directly on the frozen wiper and the ice will quickly melt off.
Other notable car issues include a decrease in tire pressure which could be caused by freezing temperatures. Constantly check your dashboard to monitor this and get an air dispenser to refill when there is a need to. For frozen door locks, de-ice sprays or hair dryers come in handy. Your warm breath could also work some magic for slightly frozen locks.