Monday, 31 August 2015

What has the cold done to my car?

We’ve been feeling a bit of spring in the air lately and it’s most welcome! It seems to have been a long winter and most definitely a cold one.  And while we know that the winter months can take a toll on the human body, we often forget that our cars can suffer too!

These pictures show some of the weather we've put up with this winter.

If you’re not lucky enough to have a nice warm bedroom (garage) for your car, just think about all the cold nights and weather extremities it’s had to endure!

With temperatures on the rise and fine driving days just around the corner, it’s an opportune time to take stock and check on some bits of your car that might be a little worse for wear.

Winter is tough on batteries. Firstly the battery cannot produce its normal amount of power because of the cold, and secondly the chemical reactions that generate electricity can be slower at lower temperatures. We often talk about the importance of checking your battery, but just because it’s made it through the colder weeks doesn’t mean it hasn’t been influenced. So check your battery cables and clamps for fraying or corrosion and also make sure that your battery contains enough of the liquid electrolyte. Come and ask us if you’re not sure.

Wiper blades can crack in the cold, so becoming much less effective. Even as spring approaches we may still have foggy mornings, and low visibility hindered by damaged wipers will be dangerous. So make sure your wiper blades are in good shape.

Poor visibility can be due to worn wiper blade    

Extreme shifts in temperature can affect your tyre pressure and driving with inadequate pressure in your tyres can be dangerous. Be wary though of checking your tyres first thing on a cold morning – it’s better to check them when they’re warmed up a little.

Overall your car has to work harder during the winter, which means it’s had to use more energy.   If you’ve been in consistently cold temperatures fluids like oil and transmission fluid may have thickened up too.  Not only does working harder affect the fuel efficiency at the time but it also means that in an older car especially your whole engine may be a little exhausted.

Winter can wreak havoc on just about every part of your vehicle, so if you haven’t had a service for a while, or just want a check up call into a service centre soon.