How Cold Winter Weather Can Affect Your Car

How Cold Winter Weather Can Affect Your Car

The cold, icy and snowy weather of winter usually means that it’s time to breakout your winter wardrobe and start regularly running the heater or fireplace at home.

It also typically means that it’s time to take some extra care of your vehicle, as the cold of winter can affect your vehicle’s performance. In fact, the more the temperatures drop in the wintertime, the more likely it is that vehicles will not run properly.

This is generally because the cold or freezing temperatures of winter can:

  1. Pull voltage from a vehicle’s battery – This is will typically occur faster if vehicles are stored outside in the cold (rather than in a garage). And it can mean that your car has problems starting – or that it won’t start at all – if the battery is a year or two old.
  2. Increase the thickness of vital vehicle fluids – Freezing temperatures generally make the oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, antifreeze and other essential fluids in your vehicle thicker (i.e., more viscous). This, in turn, can mean that it takes longer for these fluids to flow properly, which also tends to compromise how the vehicle functions when it gets colder.
  3. Degrade tire pressure – Experts say that, for every 10̊ F that the temperature drops, the average tire will lose about 1 psi. In other words, the extreme cold can cause tires to be underinflated, increasing the chances of poor performance on icy or snowy roads. If the roads are also riddled with potholes or debris, the risk of a tire blowout will also increase.
  4. Weaken other vehicle systems, making them susceptible to failures – These other systems or equipment can include (but are not limited to) the wiper system and the ignition system components.

How to Prepare Your Car for Winter

Knowing that cold can cause the above issues with vehicles, here are some things you can do now to get your car ready for winter and reduce your risk of a wintertime breakdown or auto crash:

  • Get your vehicle’s battery, brakes and tires checked and, if needed, replaced.
  • Replace the oil in your vehicle with oil that is specially formulated for cold weather.
  • Refill the other fluids in your vehicle as needed.
  • Have your vehicle serviced for wintertime.

Contact a Beaverton Car Accident Attorney at the Weimar Law Offices

If you have been injured in a traffic accident, Beaverton Car Accident Attorney Linda Weimar is ready to aggressively advocate your rights both inside and outside of the courtroom.

Since 1997, Attorney Linda Weimar has been dedicated to providing the highest quality legal services to injured people and to holding negligent parties accountable for their careless and reckless behaviors.

To get professional legal advice during a free initial consult, call us at (503) 640-5000 or email us using the Contact form on this page. From our offices in Beaverton, Attorney Linda Weimar represents people with various types of personal injury claims throughout Washington County, including in West Side and Hillsboro.