We all know the struggle – to wake up on a winter’s morning, leave the house to find the car covered in frost, ice or snow, then 10 minutes later, finding ourselves scraping the frozen windows.
However, what some of us don’t realise is that this isn’t where the issues could end. It can’t be denied that winter takes a toll on all drivers, but knowing how the weather affects our cars can be the difference between the winter mornings we’ve all come to dread and an easy, relaxing drive to work.
Here are some of the most common issues that you might face when the temperature tumbles and some of our top tips to make winter mornings a breeze.
Problem: When temperatures drop too far, your battery will start getting overworked. In other words, they are forced to use more power. For example, in the winter you are likely to switch your car heater and fog lights more than you do in spring or summer.
Solution: To avoid this, you should consider replacing an older battery (over 4-5 years old) before the cold weather hits. It is also recommended to check your battery capacity ahead of time to ensure it will be able to withstand the winter.
Frozen Windscreen Wipers
Problem: Cold weather, rain and snow can cause your windscreen wipers to fail. The freezing temperature can cause your wipers to freeze to the windscreen or to crack when you try to use them.
Solution: Instead of wiper fluid, use de-icer in your wipers as this stops the jets from freezing up and helps to defrost the windscreen. For those with automatic wipers, it is recommended that you don’t leave the setting turned on, as there is a risk of blowing a fuse if they are frozen when the ignition is turned on.
Frozen Vehicle Fluids
Problem: When temperatures drop below 0 degrees, the car fluids such as oil, transmission fluid and antifreeze are likely to become thicker or in worst cases, freeze. They means they won’t be able to move as easily through your cars system, causing performance issues.
Solution: A simple way to counteract this is to leave your engine running for 10-15 minutes before driving in order to warm up the fluids. While it’s advised to keep your fluid levels filled up at all times, it is a good idea to change your car fluids ahead of winter.
Problem: Tyre pressure can be affected by multiple factors and in winter, these issues can be amplified. When the outside temperature drops and your car is stationary for longer, your tyre pressure will drop at a quicker rate. Low tyre pressure can lead to other safety issues when driving, such as skidding and bad grip, which becomes even more dangerous in icy conditions.
Solution: To avoid this, you should check your pressure frequently and ensure it is always at the correct level before travelling. If you are expecting to keep up the usage of your car in winter, it might be useful to invest in a set of winter tyres. Below are some of our most recommended winter tyres from Goodyear.