So we all agree? Cold weather can be a real buzzkill sometimes. Your hair turns to icicles out of the shower, your hands go numb if you want to send a text, and if you catch the wrong patch of sidewalk, you’ve fallen flat on your face in front of your crush. Unfortunately, it’s not just your own safety that’s at risk in colder temps. Your car can also experience a range of troubles with any incoming cold fronts, so it’s important to be aware of what’s happening so you’re prepared to fix it. Here are a few things to look out for:
The reason why your car battery is more likely to die in the wintertime is because the colder season requires more attention. Think about the additional headlight time and running of the car engine to get the car warmed up– the heater takes up more power than air conditioning. A typical car battery can last about three years but extreme cold can pull voltage from your battery (anything below 30-90 F can give you trouble). The best strategy here is to keep your car in a garage to avoid freezing conditions, and always have your battery checked before going into colder months to make sure it’s in good health.
Reducing Tire Pressure:
For every 10 degrees of temperature drop, most tires lose 1 pound per square inch (psi). When you drive on tires with low pressure, their treads begin to bald (ie lose traction), making it more slippery on the road. Since low traction and snow and ice on the roads make for a poor combination, it’s best to keep and eye on your tires during the winter season and make sure their pressure levels are healthy. If you find that your tires are in poor condition in the warmer months, it might be time to invest in some new ones before the snow hits!
Freezing temps can do a lot of harm to your windshield wipers like causing them to freeze to the windshield or become cracked. Trust us, you won’t want those bad boys out for maintenance (Ever put on a pair of glasses that weren’t yours? Same idea. Woof). Ways to ensure they’re in good health is to clean the windshield prior to using them. Forcing wipers on a heavy, snow-filled and icey window can break them. Other tips are are to set the heater and fan controls on defrost and high before turning the car off at night- this avoids breaking knobs and switches in freezing cold weather.
The weather can really throw a curveball into your car routine, hitting places you didn’t know existed: a cracked alternator belt, thickening transmission fluid, and a weakening spark plug are also common consequences to the winter months. To play it safe, we recommend finding some roadside assistance to help you when something goes wrong and you can’t figure it out for yourself. With our Aceable Plus program, you get 6 months of AllState Roadside Assistance for FREE. Stay safe with us!