Cold weather is here. How it affects your vehicle

The four seasons may not be as pronounced living here on the sunny Central Coast of California, but it can get cold when the winter months roll around. You may not think the cooler temps have an effect on your vehicle, but cold weather can be hard on your car. The team at Certified Auto Repair in San Luis Obispo has come up with a list of how cold weather affects your vehicle and what to look out for this winter when it comes to vehicle maintenance and how you can prevent car trouble.

Routine maintenance can prevent accidents 

Car accidents happen during the winter for all sorts of reasons including road conditions, weather conditions in general such as slippery roads, darker nights and mornings, as well as rain and snow depending on where you are travelling. For this reason, it is important your car is prepared to drive in inclement weather. Accidents can be prevented through vehicle scheduled maintenance or regular tune-ups. A compromised brake system or stuck steering wheel for example can heavily influence whether an accident can be prevented. 

How can an auto technician help?

A mechanic can tell you if there are things to take care of before the winter hits. The roads are going to be slightly more slippery, potentially. Your brakes need to be impeccable. An engine is a system of moving parts; on top of that, so fluid levels should be correct to not compromise damage or vehicle control. 

Additionally, your battery should not be compromised as the last thing a driver needs is their battery to go out while out in negative degree weather, or cold weather at all really. Tires should also be intact as balding tires could make it easier for a vehicle to spin out. 

In addition to this, tires can lose about one pound of pressure for each 10-degree temperature drop, and underinflated tires can easily cause you to lose traction that could lead to a car accident, compromising safety and increasing the need for collision repairs. 

Car troubles caused by cold temperatures

It is important vehicle owners are aware of the specific repair needs that increase for vehicles more so during colder weather. For example, a little crack on a window could get worse when it is chilly. 

This happens because the combination of the cold weather with a turned-on heater adds stress to a windshield. Ideally, you want to keep your car in a heated garage to prevent these kinds of issues. 

Thickening fluids can also become a problem during the winter or cold weather. Colder temperatures can thicken transmission fluid, or it can cause fuel lines to freeze, potentially making it more challenging for a vehicle to start. It is recommended to keep fuel filled up to prevent this and to let a car run or warm-up for 10 minutes before driving off. 

If this happens too often, a vehicle may develop leaks because of the taxing weather, potentially prompting vehicle maintenance or auto repair. 

Colder weather can prompt increased auto repairs and increase the possibility of collisions, increasing the need for auto body repair. Please be especially mindful during the colder seasons.

Let Certified Auto Repair in San Luis Obispo take care of any general auto repairs and making sure all your systems are running smoothly now that the cold weather is here.