How Cold Weather Affects Your Vehicle

Although it is rare for our Phoenix temperatures to drop down to freezing, as autumn sets in, cooler temperatures are sure to be in our near future. While the fall and winter weather here isn’t as frigid as it is in other places, it can still impact you, your home, and your vehicle. We are going to take a look at how cold weather affects your vehicle, so you can prepare your car, truck, or SUV for the season ahead.

How Cold Weather Affects Your Vehicle

The days are getting shorter and the breezes are a little chillier, these things can only mean one thing, winter is on the horizon. The change of weather should be an indication and reminder to you that your car needs maintenance to ensure it is ready for the winter season ahead. Preparing your vehicle for winter can save you from costly issues and help to prevent an unexpected breakdown and/or even an accident.

Below we review some of the most common ways cold weather affects your vehicle.

  • Battery Issues: Your car battery dying or having issues is one of the largest impacts the cold can have on your vehicle and you being able to drive it when you want to. Car batteries tend to die more frequently in colder weather due to the added strain placed on them by the changing temperatures. The lower the temperature, the more difficult it is for the battery to give off enough of a charge to start your car. Vehicle batteries, like all batteries, have a finite lifespan. Batteries deteriorate over time until they can no longer provide enough power to start the vehicle’s engine. This wear time could take three to five years. The vehicle’s usage pattern and weather are contributing factors to the rate at which a battery will age.
  • Low Tire Pressure: Most people have woken up on a chilly morning and walked out to their vehicle only to find the low tire pressure indicator is on. This is common. Generally, air expands in heat and contracts when it’s cold and the air in your tires is no exception. As it gets colder, even if just throughout the night, your tires can lose pressure. Improper tire pressure reduces control of the car in all conditions, proper inflation is especially important in bad and wet conditions.
  • Overheating: Overheating is not just a problem in the hot months of the year, this can also commonly happen when the weather is a bit colder. Vehicles can overheat for various reasons. Typically, an overheated engine is caused by a problem with the vehicle’s cooling system. The issue could be caused by a cooling system leak, faulty radiator fan or bad radiator hose, broken water pump, bad thermostat, clogged coolant hose, a blown head gasket, amongst other things. If your vehicle has a problem with the cooling system or radiator, when you turn on the heater for some relief from the cold weather, it could trigger your car, truck, or SUV to overheat.
  • Visibility Problems: When it comes to how cold weather affects your vehicle, many people don’t think about the visibility aspect. When the nights get colder, dew and/or fog can set in, it is dark longer, and other conditions can occur to make it harder for you to see as you drive. Having wiper blades and fluids that are up for the task and ensuring all of the lights on your vehicle are in working order is important for you being able to safely get to your destination.

While we have less cold weather in Phoenix than most other places in the country, you should still prepare your vehicle for the changing seasons. Check the fluids, inspect your battery, ensure your tires have the right pressure, and look for any other signs that your vehicle may need maintenance.

At Advanced Transmissions & Emissions we can help you prepare your vehicle for the cold weather and all year round. Our Phoenix, AZ customers know us for our work with transmissions, but we can resolve any mechanical issues, including problems with clutches and all engine failures.

Our technicians understand cars, trucks, and SUVs inside and out, enabling them to address all makes and models’ problems. Most importantly, our team works quickly when we bring a car into our shop.

We understand your time is valuable, and we want to get you back on the road quickly. Contact us today.

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