As we go deeper into fall and winter, cold fronts will likely begin to push through northern Utah, and it is not uncommon for the temperature to drop quickly and suddenly. These seasonal changes are nothing new to our area, but you should still be prepared for them. Just one thing you should be aware of, and try to avoid as best you can, is the effect of cold weather on your car.
Cars are complicated machines, and while they are durable, that doesn’t mean they are invincible. The environment around them can cause them damage, and cold weather is one of many potential hazards that might beckon.
What are some of the damages that cold weather can do to your car? What can you do to prevent this?
Car batteries rely on energy and a chemical reaction to start your engine. Cold air slows down these processes, and therefore can place extra strain on the battery. That's why many people experience problems starting their cars or have dead batteries during winter.
However, if you have a strong battery, then you will be able to lower your risks of these issues. All batteries age over time, so you will have to have yours replaced eventually. Still, when you have your car serviced, ask your repairman to inspect your battery to see if it doesn’t have any damage or corrosion.
Fluid Leaks and Thickening
Most fluids like your oil, antifreeze and transmission fluids will thicken in winter. Therefore, if you haven’t had your fluids changed in a long time, then these fluids might be older and less able to withstand the cold. Therefore, having your fluids changed regularly can ensure that your car continues to run smoothly in cold weather.
Tire Pressure Changes
Cold weather can cause your tire pressure to decrease while you have the car parked. This is because cold air is more dense than warm air, which can cause the tire to contract. However, when you are driving the car, the heat generated by the friction will cause the tire to expand.
Because of the huge difference between cold air outside your tire and the hot air inside, extra strain might be placed on your tire. Therefore, cold weather might raise your risk of a flat tire or even a blowout. That’s why you should periodically check your tire pressure and add air to them if needed. After all, a well-functioning tire is key to helping you maintain control of the car and avoid accidents.
Keep in mind, normal maintenance like this is not covered by most car insurance policies. However, many policies offer roadside assistance benefits, which can assist customers who experience vehicle breakdowns. If you have a dead battery, flat tire or leaking fluids, your roadside assistance benefits can often dispatch a service provider to your location to help you fix the issue.
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