In New England, fall is in full force; the leaves have changed colors, Thanksgiving preparations have begun, and the air is slowly getting colder and colder as winter approaches. While these changes may signal the approach of the holiday season, however, the colder weather also signifies another change: the increased danger to your car or other vehicles.
Freezing weather brings a unique set of challenges to driving safely and keeping vehicles operational, so it is important to know what kinds of issues you may have to deal with, and how you can effectively respond to them. Last month, we featured an article about ways to safeguard your home from cold East coast winters. Now, we would like for you to take a look at the top three ways that cold weather can damage your car, and what you should do about each one.
1. Your car has trouble starting.
Normal car batteries are meant to withstand weather from 30 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, so when the temperature drops below the lower end of that range, the battery may stop working, preventing your car from starting. The same effect can occur with your spark plug or other ignition components. In order to prevent this from happening, get your battery and spark plug checked so that you know ahead of time if you should expect any problems, and can act to stop them before they happen.
2. Your transmission fluid (and other liquids) thicken.
Freezing weather thickens liquids, which includes your transmission fluid, antifreeze, brake fluid, and oil. When your transmission fluid is too thick to flow properly, you may have trouble operating your vehicle or getting it to function at all. You should get all of these liquids checked at least once as the cold weather begins to set in so that you can know whether it is safe to drive or not.
3. Tire pressure goes down.
When the temperature drops, most tires lose pressure at a rate of 1 pound per square inch for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower tire pressure can lead to poor tire performance and damage or failure, which can be especially dangerous in snowy or icy conditions. Do not attempt to drive with low tire pressure. In order to combat this obstacle, check your tire pressure every few weeks, and inflate your tires as necessary.
We want you and your family to remain safe not only in your home during the upcoming holiday season, but when driving as well. Please take the necessary precautions before traveling this winter, and be sure to contact Waitte’s Insurance Agency for any and all accident claims.