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Some Common Car Problems You May Face During Winters

Dead battery, thickening of fluids, cracking of spark plugs and fluctuation in tyre pressure are some common winter car problems.

08 Jan 2021
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It’s crucial to identify and address winter car problems at the earliest.

A dip in the mercury doesn't affect just you, but also your car. During winters, your vehicle is likely to face several mechanical problems, as its metal tends to shrink. Therefore, you must take precautionary measures and be prepared to deal with problematic situations. Read on to know some common winter car problems and how to overcome them.

Thickening of fluids

In places where the temperature reaches sub-zero levels, car fluids such as oil, anti-freeze, etc., tend to become less viscous. As a result, they become less mobile, and their free flow is restricted. This can hamper your car's performance.

To avoid this, it's advisable to leave your vehicle's engine running for at least 10 to 15 minutes for fluids to warm up. It's also a good idea to change fluids before winters' onset to maintain recommended fluid levels.

Dead battery

This is one of the most widely experienced winter car problems. A dip in temperature below the freezing point overworks the battery, causing it to falter. Also, since a lot of energy is soaked from the battery to power different systems such as car heater and fog headlights, the same is likely to diminish its performance.

A vital step in winter car care involves buying a new battery before the onset of the cold if the current one is already 4 to 5 years old. If you don't intend to do so, do check if the present one can last through the season.

Failure of wiper

This problem happens because of the failure to clear the windshields before starting the wipers. During cold weather, wipers freeze to the windshield, and when they are turned on, the blades may tear. Also, as these blades are made from rubber, pressure from ice or snow can break them.

During winters, one of the basic car maintenance tips is to turn your vehicle's fan controls and heater on. Also, if you live in a place where temperatures drop significantly, consider installing high-quality beam winter wiper blades.

Freezing of fuel lines

Another common winter car problem - your vehicle's fuel line may freeze because of condensation forming in the gas tank. The problem amplifies when you are running low on fuel, and cold temperature may prevent the fuel from reaching the car's engine.

One of the most important winter car care tips to overcome a frozen fuel line is to park your vehicle in a warm area. If you can't find a warm garage, you can place an electric heater near the fuel lines to warm it up. Avoid using an open flame heater if you are using this method, as it can result in an accident.

Failure of starter motor

The starter motor helps start your car. During winters, the motor has to work hard to turn the engine on, which puts a lot of stress on it, causing it to fail. While there's nothing much you can do about it, you must continuously avoid cranking the engine.

Give it a minimum of 25 to 30 seconds to get started. It's also advisable to check for corrosion on the starter terminals and ensure proper insulation from moisture. To prevent starter motor failure, keep the engine in top shape and check out for any unfamiliar sound while starting your vehicle.

Fluctuation of tyre pressure

A dip in temperature also results in the fluctuation of your car's tyre pressure. Pressure fluctuates because air when cooled contracts. With a drop in mercury levels, individual molecules take up less space within the tyre. As a result, they exert less force on the walls of the tyres.

Therefore, you must always check the tyre pressure indicator before starting your car and ensure it's up to the mark. Note that low tyre pressure can also result in a complete blowout during driving, causing an accident.

Cracking of alternator belt

An alternator belt is responsible for charging the battery that powers all the electronics in your vehicle. During winters, the alternator belt cracks and a faulty alternator causes electrical and battery issues.

As fluids thicken, it takes more time for the alternator to charge the battery, and this might cause it to crack. If you get to hear a high-pitched sound while starting your car, then it's an indication of a worn alternator. For a smooth ride, do inspect the alternator and get it replaced immediately if it's faulty.

Corrosion of spark plugs

A car's spark plugs ignite the air-fuel mixture. During winters these plugs, which are mostly made of ceramic, crack. Corroded spark plugs will reduce the efficiency of your vehicle, and they also cause starting problems.

As part of your winter car care, check these plugs before the cold season and get them changed if they are faulty. If you find a drop in acceleration, then it's an indication of faulty plugs.

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A dip in the mercury doesn't affect just you, but also your car. During winters, your vehicle is likely to face several mechanical problems, as its metal tends to shrink.

Weakening of coil springs

Coil springs provide stability to your car and protect it from getting damaged due to constant impact while driving. During winters, the metal that makes up the spring may weaken, making the spring easier to break, especially on bumpy roads due to too much pressure.

Indications for worn-out coil springs include excessive bounce and the vehicle leaning on one side. If this happens, get the springs inspected and replaced at the earliest. Also, drive slowly on bumpy roads and avoid uneven surfaces and potholes.

The final word

To sum up, our essential car maintenance tips during winters include checking the battery, fluids, tyres, and ignition components, among others. To cover your ride against winter car accidents and mishaps, get our car insurance policy today.

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