Winter sucks. There, I said it. After years of the cold temperatures, harsh winds, and icy roads, it begins to take its toll. Although we all agree that winter can be hard on us, our cars tend to get the brunt of the damage throughout the colder months. Falling temperatures, uneasy surfaces, and cold-defying products on the streets combine to make quite the car damaging cocktail. Here are the top things to look out for this winter and tips to counteract the daunting effects of winter car damage.
We’ve all heard this one before, but it cannot be overstated enough. Salt is bad, bad, bad for your car. Sure, it lowers the freezing point of water to give safer roads for driving, but it comes at a price. So what kind of risk is salt posing for your vehicle exactly? Well, for starters, long-term exposure of salt to metal produces rust and corrosion. Some folks, whom I will never understand, don’t care much if their car has rust on it or not. Time to rethink that. The rust is much more than a blemish, but an indication of damage, and should be treated as such. Corrosion on the brakes, frame, muffler, and exhaust system can lead to serious problems. Dangerous ones.
So how do you counteract this? Well, if you live in a city that puts salt on the streets, be sure to have your vehicle washed regularly. For those wanting a more proactive approach, we suggest a wax in the fall, and protective sealants on the underside of the car.
As the temperatures plummet, our car tires decrease in pressure. Driving with low pressure results in uneven wear and tear. If you see that tire pressure light go on, you’ll want to get that checked out immediately.
Batteries overwork themselves in colder weather. They have to work harder to weather through (pun intended). Having your battery checked in the fall is always a good move. If it’s four or more years old, you’ll be wanting to replace it.
Fluids, Fluids, Fluids
All of the fluids inside your vehicle run a risk of thickening during winter. Oil, transmission fluids, antifreeze, and power steering fluids all should be checked and taken care of prior to the winter. Internal winter car damage is preventable, but only if you keep on top of it. Ensuring the fluids are fresh, full, and in working order will make for a happier and healthier car.
If you’re not one of the lucky few who are able to migrate to Miami or Phoenix this winter, you’ll likely find yourself dealing with some potential winter car damage situations. Hopefully, you’ll find some decent counteractions from this list. Otherwise, good luck, and happy repairing.