With colder weather, comes great responsibility – at least, that’s the way it is when you’re a vehicle owner. If you’ve ever tried to start a car in cold temperatures, you’ll know just what kind of effect it might have on the engine. Can cold weather make your car act up, and can it pose any danger to the engine, driver, or passengers?
Can Cold Weather Make Your Car Act Up?
Here’s your guide to how freezing temperatures affect your car during winter months and what you should know to keep your engine in good condition.
Cold Weather & Your Car
Engines have an optimal operating temperature and do not function as well in extreme cold – or extreme heat. Similar to how Arizona heat can cause problems with engines and their connected systems, cold weather in the Midwest can do the same.
It is not uncommon for cars to take longer to start during colder months. When freezing temperatures arrive, the cold weather can even cause the engine to cut out. Other times, when left in the cold for too long, a car can lose its ability to start altogether.
Preparing Cars for Winter Weather
The best drivers know to prepare their cars for the winter weather ahead. Below are a few minor things that drivers can do to save their cars from the shock of the cold.
1. Warm Up Your Car Before Driving
Engage your car’s heating before you intend to drive. Heating your car before driving away warms up the engine and the internal temperature of your car. Warming up your car also has the ability to stop the effects of cold – like the potentially dangerous frost that forms on your windows while you drive.
2. Bring Your Car Battery Indoors
When it snows, remove the battery of your car and bring it indoors. Batteries are sensitive to temperature fluctuations and are one of the first things that can start to malfunction when temperatures drop. Bringing a battery inside allows for a charge, with some gear added.
3. Park Indoors When Possible
Park your car where it won’t get the worst exposure to the cold winter weather conditions – when you have a choice. Even if you have to pay for indoor parking somewhere, it’s better than what it might have to cost to repair your car due to cold weather car damage.
What Does Cold Weather Do to Your Car?
Cold weather can freeze up your car and hinders its ability to function properly. In many cases, cold weather will also increase the time that it takes to start your car. But that’s not the only bad thing cold weather can do to your vehicle.
With long-term exposure to dropping temperatures, your car might seize up while you’re driving – or get stuck in a place where you’d rather not be without transport.
Always prepare for cold weather, because it can certainly make your car act up. After all, it only takes a little bit of preparation to prevent emergencies on the road.
Turn on your car and heat the engine and cabin and let it run for a few minutes before driving off. This will allow the essential functions in your vehicle to warm up first, helping the engine function run optimally.
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