Winter can be harsh, cruel and unrelenting in Western Michigan. Freezing temperatures can make us feel sluggish and slow, but they can also negatively affect various aspects of our vehicles and their performance. Both internally and externally, winter can wreak major havoc on your car, truck or SUV. Today, we’re talking about How The Cold Negatively Affects Your Vehicle.
Air contracts when exposed to cold temperatures and decreases the amount of pressure in your tires. Low tire pressure can lead to poor traction and even tire failure. An easy fix is to check your tire pressure as the temps start dropping. Another issue the winter temps can create is the hardening of the rubber on all season tires. This hardening diminishes your tires ability to grip the road as you drive, making it tougher to maintain control on roads that are often difficult to navigate as it is. Swapping out all season tires for winter ones can reduce this hardening and alleviate this trouble.
Cold temps can cause mayhem for your car’s battery. As the temperatures plummet, the cold slows the chemical process inside the battery and reduces its ability to hold a charge. Older batteries are more susceptible to failure in frigid air due to their already diminished ability to retain that charge, causing your vehicle to not start. Before heading into winter, have your battery checked, particularly if it’s more than 3 years old, and replaced if need be to prevent getting stuck out in the cold.
Your vehicle uses fluids to lubricate and protect its engine but their ability to move freely is lessened as the temperatures drop. While most fluids in your car have additives to prevent them from freezing, the cold still thickens your oil, transmission fluid and antifreeze, making it difficult for them to be forced throughout the engine to prevent damage and delays. Check your fluids to make sure they are at the correct level and let your engine warm up a few minutes before driving in freezing temperatures to avoid disaster.
We’ve all done it before. We hop in our vehicle, start it and instead of clearing the windshield of ice and snow manually, we turn on our windshield wipers. While that may feel like the easiest solution for getting on our way, it’s also the fastest way to do damage to your wiper blades and decrease your vision while driving. Snow, ice and slush are heavy and can tear the rubber part of the blades, and extreme temps can make the plastic holding them brittle and more likely to break. Do yourself a favor, take a few extra minutes while your engine in warming up, to completely clear you windshield of all debris.
It should be no surprise to find that your engine takes longer to warm up in the winter. But did you know that running the heater inside your car delays it even further? It’s true. The heater inside your car pulls its warmth from the engine, keeping it colder longer. And the longer your engine stays cold, the less efficient it runs. A vehicles engine compensates for the cold temperatures by creating a high gas to air ratio, using more fuel. This increase helps prevent stalling, which is the desired effect but it also burns through more gas than when it’s warm. To heat your engine faster, you can delay turning on your heater until it’s running at operating temperature. Knowing that, we think it would still be safe to assume most people in West Michigan would prefer to be comfortable rather than to get optimal fuel efficiency in winter. Here at Broadmoor Motors, we can’t say we blame them.
Broadmoor Motors can save you time and money on the purchase of your next quality, pre-owned vehicle and on your next car rental. Whether you need a short term car rental, long term car rental, a replacement while your vehicle is getting serviced or simply need to replace your car, truck or SUV with a great used vehicle, we can help you out. Family owned & operated, with a reputation for quality vehicles at great prices, we’re here for all your Car Rental, Car Sales, and Service needs in the greater Grand Rapids area. Give us a call at 616.698.9595 to see how we can get you back on the road!