Posted by Performance Auto Specialists Preventative Maintenance

Winter’s Effects On Your Vehicle

luxury car maintenance Wilmington

With winter weather just around the corner, it is vital for auto owners to understand the threats that harsh winter weather can pose to their vehicles. Extreme temperatures can impact fluids and mechanical components that are essential to your car’s operation. The luxury car maintenance Wilmington experts at Performance Auto Specialists have put together this list to help auto-owners take better steps to avoid problems and be able to better diagnose problems related to the weather if they arise. Here are some common ways winter can damage your vehicle along with what you can do to prevent or repair the problem:

Corrosion Caused By Salty Roads

Salt used to treat the roads when snow is in the forecast can stick to your car’s metal components and, if left there, can cause them to corrode, especially the undercarriage, brakes, and wheel wells. The luxury car maintenance Wilmington experts at Performance Auto Specialists recommend getting the undercarriage treated with an oil-solution underspray to head off corrosion before the roads are salted, and regular washing of the vehicle’s undercarriage during the winter months for continued protection.

Belts And Hoses

Cold weather causes the rubber to harden and become less pliable, and extremely cold temperatures can also make rubber more likely to develop holes and cracks. To prevent this from happening, give your vehicle’s belts and hoses a thorough inspection and replace any necessary components before the colder temps arrive. Should your vehicle be damaged by a belt break, using recycled auto parts can mitigate some of the cost since they are less expensive than brand new auto parts, but are still reliable.

Thickening Fluids

Cold winter temperatures can cause fluids that your vehicle relies on to function to thicken. Oil, antifreeze, power steering, brake, and transmission fluid can all thicken during cold weather, reducing their effectiveness. To prevent this, park your vehicle in a garage if you have access to one. Otherwise, The luxury car maintenance Wilmington experts at Performance Auto Specialists recommend starting the car for 10 to 15 minutes in below-freezing temperatures to warm it up before driving.

Dead Battery

When temperatures plummet, your car’s battery works harder to start the car because its starting capacity is reduced in below-freezing weather. Also, drivers use more accessories such as heaters and windshield wipers during the cold winter months, placing more demands on vehicle batteries. It is recommended that you replace your battery at least once every three years, and to keep the connectors clean of any corrosion that has built up around the connectors over time. If possible, garage your car during the winter to protect the battery against extreme cold temperatures.

Tire Pressure

You really have to watch your air pressure in your tires during the winter months, as colder temperatures cause air molecules to contract, causing the pressure within your tires to drop. During the winter months, check your tires’ air pressure frequently and add more air as needed to avoid uneven wear on your tires and a decrease in gas mileage. 

Frozen Gas Lines

When temperatures change, it can cause condensation to build up and then freeze in your gas lines. One way you can prevent your gas lines from freezing up is by keeping your gas tank at least half full throughout the winter to prevent too much air from being present in the tank. When there’s too much air in your gas tank, moisture in that air can freeze and clog your gas line. Reducing the amount of air present keeps that from happening.

Performance Auto Specialists

Performance Auto Specialists offers quality auto repair for all makes and models and specializes in European vehicles three years old or older. When your warranty expires, we are here to provide the same quality customer service, repairs, and maintenance you would expect to find at your local dealership, at a much lower cost. Contact us today to make your next appointment!

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Performance Auto Specialists has offered affordable, reliable repair and maintenance to Wilmington residents since 1991.