How Winter Weather Affects Your Vehicle

A car's windshield is covered in ice

While we may not think about the cold weather much in Florida, the truth is that changes in temperature and pressure can have an impact on different parts of your vehicle. It’s important not to forget that vehicle maintenance in the winter is just as important as other times of the year. There are several ways winter weather affects your vehicle.

Here are the areas you may need to pay attention to the most. 


Freezing Engine Fluids

One of the ways winter weather affects your vehicle is by freezing engine fluids. While oil doesn’t technically freeze, it does get thick. And, the colder it gets, the thicker it gets, which means that it’s not going to get into the nooks and crannies where it needs to be while your vehicle is running. This causes additional wear on the oil pump and the metal-to-metal moving parts in the engine, such as bearings and pistons. Change the oil in your vehicle as often as recommended. Other fluids that should be checked include transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid.

Antifreeze is one of the fluids that you need to test or change based on age or because you added water to the radiator. If antifreeze is not effective, it will freeze. Once this happens, your engine will not cool properly, and the water in the block could freeze, thus cracking the block, or at the least, blowing out the freeze plugs.

Dying Car Battery

The cold temperatures affect the chemical process in the battery, which reduces the efficiency of the charge. If the battery does not have a complete charge, it might not have enough amperage and voltage to start the vehicle.

A fresh battery will fare better in cold weather than a battery that is three or four years old. If you expect the winter to be colder than normal and your battery is at least three years old, you might consider replacing it.

Rigid Rubber Components

The cold also affects rigid rubber components, such as brake lines and boots on driveshafts. If the hard rubber part of the brake line cracks, you’ll end up losing your brakes because the braking system works on pressure.

Front-wheel drive driveshafts also feature rubber components that could crack in cold weather. A cracked boot allows grease to leak out and dirt to get in; thus, adding additional wear on the joint. Visit Big Chief Tire for a brake inspection or for driveshaft repair.

Decreased Tire Pressure

If the tire pressure is incorrect, you could slide. While ice and snow are not problems we deal with in Florida, tires are still impacted by the change in weather. Too little tire pressure makes the tires soft. Too much tire pressure reduces the amount of tread that contacts the roads, which means you could spin out easier. If your tires will not hold tire pressure, you might need new tires. Tires might not hold pressure because of a foreign object in the tire or because the tires are not aligned.

Contact Big Chief Tire

No matter the time of year or the weather, regular vehicle maintenance is critical to your safety while driving. Start off the New Year with confidence that your vehicle is performing at it’s best with a trip to Big Chief Tire. Let our experienced team inspect your tires, brakes, oil, and more.

Contact Big Chief Tire to schedule an appointment to make sure your vehicle is ready for winter driving.

Share this Post



Recent Posts

Sign up for our newsletter

Get the latest car care tips and current specials delivered right to your inbox!