Many drivers trust that operating their vehicles slowly and carefully in the snow and ice will get their cars through a tough winter. Unfortunately, cold temperatures like the ones we’ve recently seen in Connecticut can affect a car’s performance. Drivers have little control over the impact of shrinking metal and viscous fluids caused by the cold.
As a result, here’s what can happen:
Your Battery Dies
Cold weather lessens your battery’s voltage, which makes it harder for your car to start. Batteries usually last in temperatures from 30°F to 90°F, but below this range, the chances of your car stalling increase greatly; especially if your battery is older than three or four years.
To avoid this inconvenience, have your battery tested before the start of winter or get it replaced. To further ensure that your car will start, keep it sheltered inside a garage throughout the season.
All of your car’s fluids – the oil, antifreeze, power steering, transmission and brake fluids – don’t move as freely throughout your vehicle when temperatures drop. Consequently, it becomes harder for your car’s engine to start and, in a worst-case scenario, the thicker fluids can tear through the seals and cause internal damage.
So, before you get on the road in below-freezing temperatures, run your car for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the fluids time to warm up and circulate.
Lower Tire Pressure
When you feel the weather getting colder, your tires notice it too. They lose 1 pound per square inch for every 10°F. Tires that are not properly inflated become easily damaged on the road, especially when you’re driving through ice or snow. Long term, your tires become unevenly worn and will not last as long as expected.
The cold can also damage your spark plugs and ignition components or lead to a clogged filter. When these inconveniences happen, your car has a difficult time starting and may be less reliable on the road.
Maintaining your car is key to avoiding accidents, but even careful drivers may find themselves involved in a collision because of the condition of their car. If you’ve been in an accident and are dealing with a difficult insurance company, work with Trantolo & Trantolo’s lawyers to get the compensation you deserve. To learn more, call any of our CT locations today.