Don’t Get Left Out in the Cold This Winter
Cold weather is difficult. It’s hard on us, and it’s hard on your car - and it’s never colder than when you’re sitting in a broken-down vehicle waiting on a tow truck. Luckily, American Auto Clinic in Albuquerque, NM has some advice on the matter, to make sure you avoid a breakdown this winter.
Certain car problems arise far more frequently in the cold. Here are some common issues, and how to avoid them.
Your car battery is less efficient in cold weather and has a more difficult time starting your car. Have your battery tested to make sure it’s ready for the months ahead, and if it begins to sound weak or you notice your car starting slower than it usually does, don’t hesitate to have it replaced. If the temperature dips lower and your battery isn’t up to par, you may find you’re out of juice.
It seems like your cooling system would work better in the cold, but that isn’t necessarily true. If you are having thermostat issues, your car will take an eternity to warm up to operating temperature, decreasing efficiency and dramatically increasing the amount of time it takes for your heater to start working. If you have too much water in your coolant or the coolant is expired, you run the risk of freezing liquid in your engine and radiator, which can burst radiators, hoses, and coolant tanks, or cause cracks in your engine block or engine head, none of which is good news. Even if it doesn’t freeze enough to do immediate damage, ice in the system will block passageways and cause your engine to overheat before the ice manages to melt. Avoid these problems altogether by having your coolant tested before freezing weather arrives.
Cold air causes tire pressure to decrease, potentially enough to cause a flat. Bad tread is a hazard on cold roads, ice, or slippery conditions. Winter weather also tends to bring with it debris and obstacles in the road, which can puncture a weak and worn out tire. Make sure you have tires with good tread, suitable for winter conditions, that aren’t old and dry rotted.
Worn and aging belts are more prone to breaking in extreme temperatures; the cold makes them more brittle, and the constant heating and cooling when the car is running vs. when it is parked can cause an already worn belt to fail. Have your drive belt or belts inspected for wear and malleability and avoid dealing with one snapping on you suddenly while driving.
These items are more likely to cause you trouble in cold weather, but you should also keep an eye on anything that might cause you trouble regardless of the season. A break down is never fun, but the stakes are much higher in sub-freezing temperatures. Bring your vehicle by American Auto Clinic and let one of our expert technicians take a look at it. We’ll make sure your car stays reliable, and ready for the road.
Thank you for visiting American Auto Clinic in Albuquerque, NM. Count on our automotive repair technicians to keep your car, truck, suv, or van on the roads longer and safer.
Schedule your appointment today by calling (505) 884-2303.