Common Winter Car Problems

Winter is here, and along with cold temps and
snow, it brings a few other problems. Machines, like your car, don’t really
like cold weather, because cold temps cause metal to shrink.  The cold puts the hurt on all things that
require gas and oil, but there are some things we can do about it.  As an Omaha auto repair shop for over fifty
years, we’ve seen what winter does to vehicles. Here are some things to look
out for this winter with your car.

Thick Fluids

When the temperature reaches sub-zero, your car
fluids like antifreeze, oil, and transmission fluid will likely thicken. When
this happens, they become less viscous. That translates to them moving less
freely within your car’s systems. If you haven’t changed your fluids for a
while, now is a good time. Fresh fluids can help, along with letting your
vehicle warm up for about 10 minutes before hitting the road.

Dead Battery

Perhaps the most common cold-weather car problem
is the dreaded dead battery. When the temps drop below freezing, your car
battery gets stressed and overworked. A battery is generally powering more
systems in the winter compared to other seasons – think heater and fog lights.
If your battery is 4 years or older, you might consider purchasing a new one
before the bitter cold arrives. Check your battery’s capacity to determine if
it’ll make it through winter. 

Frozen Fuel Lines

Your car’s fuel lines can freeze during extreme
cold because of condensation that forms in the gas tank. This happens more
often if you’re running your car with little fuel in the tank. One way to
combat this is by keeping your car’s fuel tank at half full or more during the
cold season.

Wiper Failure

Good wipers are a must during winter. Cold temps
can override your washer fluid’s freezing point. Your wiper blades, because
they’re made from rubber, can crack and break. Set your car’s fan controls and
heater on defrost to help prevent wiper failure.

Tire Pressure

When temps drop, your tire pressure can
fluctuate. Tire pressure will decrease when your car is not moving. Check the
tire pressure indicator on your dashboard regularly every time you start your
car. If the light is on, then you need to address it immediately. Generally,
when you don’t stay on top of your tire maintenance, you will shorten the
lifespan of your tire from irregular wear and tear. It can become a safety
issue if you never pay attention to your tires.

Omaha Auto Repair

If you already haven’t prepped your vehicle for
winter driving, stop by the shop, and we can help. If you do have any issues
that need to be addressed, it’s always better to take care of them before the
real cold sets in. Drive safe, Omaha!

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