Anyone who has ever attempted to start up an older vehicle on an icy morning is probably familiar with the concept that cars don’t like the cold. In many cases, old cars have trouble starting on cold mornings, and any vehicle can experience issues when they hit the road on a winter day.
There are many different ways that your vehicle may be impacted by the cold weather, and these changes can have an effect on the operation of your car as well as your safety on the road. In order to keep your car in the best condition possible and keep you and your passengers safe while driving during the winter season, it’s important that you know what you can expect from your vehicle and what you can do to ensure that it continues to operate effectively. Here are some symptoms a mechanic in Madison, TN suggests you look out for:
- Trouble starting: The first time you start your engine up in the morning during the winter months, you will have to contend with the complications that cold temperatures can cause for your engine. When it’s cold, motor oil will become thicker, and this sludgy texture makes it harder for your vehicle to start up. In addition, your vehicle’s battery may not be able to withstand the cold temperatures and you might not be able to get sufficient power.
- Compromised traction: If you have all-season tires, you might have some trouble keeping traction on the road. The rubber compound in most kinds of all-season tires will harden and prevent the tire from gripping or sticking to the road’s surface as effectively as it should.
- Moisture problems: It is common for water vapor to accumulate within an engine when temperatures drop, and this vapor is usually burned off after about 20 minutes or so of driving. Because of how quickly it burns off, this water vapor isn’t much of a concern for longer trips. The problem arises when you are taking frequent short trips, during which this water vapor can’t be burned off sufficiently. This can cause a buildup of sludge in your engine along with exhaust problems.
- Increased chance of engine block cracking: Because of the chance of coolant freezing in cold weather, many drivers experience cracking in their engine blocks during the winter. It’s important that you keep your coolant topped off and ensure that your car is provided with the right kind of antifreeze.
- Reduced efficiency: Your vehicle has to work a bit harder during the winter, so it’s common to experience higher rates of fuel consumption during the winter than you would in the summer.
Even though a lot of cold weather-related engine issues are unavoidable during the winter months, proper vehicle operation and care can greatly reduce the risk of vehicle damage. When you first start your car, always give it a minute to warm up without engaging the heater, avoid short trips in cold weather and make sure to get preventative winter maintenance from a professional mechanic in Madison, TN. At Madison Muffler & Auto Repair, we are proud to provide exceptional service to all of the customers we work with. To find out more about how you can get ready for winter driving, contact us today.