If you drive, then you know that car trouble is always a possibility, no matter the time of year. However, some car issues only occur in winter when temperatures drop and the freezing cold rolls in. Drivers need to be more aware of changing road conditions during the winter months to avoid accidents caused by wet or icy surfaces, but the cold weather itself also has the power to cause damage to your vehicle.
Are you ready to take on the harsh winter weather, and how have you prepared your vehicle for the season? Here are five common winter car problems and how German auto specialists in Albuquerque, NM suggest dealing with them:
- Low tire pressure: When the temperatures outside drop, so will the pressure of your tires. Because of this, it’s important that you get in the habit of checking your tire pressure more often during the cold winter months. Use a portable pressure gauge to check the PSI, ideally every week, but no less than once a month. Replace lost air pressure up to the manufacturer’s specification—look in your owner’s manual or the door panel for this information. Under-inflation can increase the risk of road accidents and traction issues.
- Dead battery: Car batteries are vulnerable to rapid draining in cold weather. Motor vehicles need more energy to start in the winter, as well as power to keep going without incident, so you might find yourself stranded if your battery is near the end of its life and temperatures have dropped. To reduce this risk, have the battery checked, tested and, if necessary, replaced, and park in an enclosed garage when you’re able to do so.
- Thickening fluids: Extremely cold temperatures will cause automotive fluids to thicken, but liquids begin to freeze once temperatures drop to below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Water and windshield wiper fluid may freeze, while antifreeze, oil and transmission fluid are all at risk of becoming less viscous. Thickening or frozen fluids have a much more difficult time moving freely throughout your car’s systems. To prevent this, run your car for about 10 minutes to give fluids time to warm up. You should also change all the fluids before the temperatures drop, and be sure to maintain proper fluid levels.
- Frozen wipers: Out of all the seasons, you rely on your windshield wipers the most in winter. Whether you get rain, snow or hail, your wipers must be in good condition to clear it off your windshield. Unfortunately, the cold weather can freeze wipers to the window, tear the rubber blades and even break wiper control mechanisms. Check your wipers and give the windows time to warm up and defrost before you get going.
- Unreliable spark plugs: The spark plugs on many vehicles have the tendency to become less reliable during colder months. If your car is running on old or worn plugs going into winter, then freezing temperatures can render them inoperable. Have your spark plugs regularly inspected and replace as needed.
Don’t let winter put a halt to your plans. Call the German auto specialists in Albuquerque, NM with Hans Wittler’s Automotive today for help with any car issues!
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