Caring for Your Car in Freezing Temperatures

car in cold weatherWith this cold winter weather, your car can really take a beating. It is important to pay special attention to caring for your car in freezing temperatures. This will ensure that your car continues to function properly during the winter months. Here are a few tips to consider.

Avoid Car Washes

Although you may want to clean off that salt and dirt from your car right now, it’s better to wait for a day when temperatures are a little warmer. Although you may wash and dry your car indoors, your car will be exposed to freezing temperatures almost immediately thereafter. Water gets into spaces that you cannot dry off. That water will almost immediately freeze upon exiting the car wash. This can cause unforeseen damage and issues in the future.

Check Your Fluids Often

Frequently check your anti-freeze, and other fluids such as oil and windshield washer fluid, during the winter months. Your car relies on anti-freeze more heavily during the winter. Being low on other fluids could have a more dramatic impact in this type of weather. Avoid being stuck in the freezing cold by performing these simple checks.

Warm Up Your Car

It is always important to allow a short period of time for your car to warm up (newer cars need only about 30 seconds). An extended warm up period is not necessary since your car may continue to warm up faster if you are actually driving it. However, if you’re like most people, you want the interior to heat up a little bit before you get in yourself. Make sure that your vehicle is well ventilated during this time. Snow around a car has been known to block the exhaust pipe, filling the interior of the car with poisonous carbon monoxide gas.

Also, when you start to drive your car, be aware that the tires and brakes may need time to warm up. Cold tires are hard and may not grip the road surface well. Cold brakes will not work as quickly and efficiently. Drive more cautiously until both have time to function properly.

Prevent Freezing Locks and Doors

A common winter problem is a frozen lock and/or door. Spraying WD-40 into the lock can often minimize freezing. As for door jams, you can lube the gaskets with a special silicone available at your local automotive supply store. If you have a car starter, allowing the vehicle to warm up a bit beforehand may help with these two issues as well.

Caring for Your Car in Freezing Temperatures

Caring for your car in freezing temperatures takes a little extra time and effort. However, it can be much more time consuming dealing with a car problem because you neglected to care for it. Always allow for a little extra time in the mornings, as you head out for work, in case there is an unexpected car issue to resolve. Mornings are generally the coldest time of day. Your car is therefore more likely to experience problems in the morning. With these tips and a little luck, you will hopefully avoid having any car troubles this winter.