How Cold Weather Affects Your Car

Oct 12, 2020

How Cold Weather Affects Your Car

As the cold months start to roll in, we know that when it comes to trying to start your car on those cold mornings there can be some problems. Most of us may have experienced at least battery problems in the winter, but there are other ways the cold temperatures can affect your car. The best way to handle problems like this is to do it before the colder weather sets in (we are talking those -2 degrees mornings).

What happens to the battery when it’s cold outside?

In low temperatures, your battery’s ability to hold charge will reduce and there can be a loss of voltage up to 60% at 0 degrees. When you’re trying to start your car in the cold, your engine can require double the usual current. But if your battery is in good condition, subzero temperatures shouldn’t affect your battery’s performance.

The average lifespan of a battery is around 4-7 years and all depends on a number of factors, it’s a good idea to have it checked at around this time of year to ensure everything is in working order. You could even take your car for a winter service to ensure everything from oil to brake pads are checked for winter driving conditions.

Here are a few indicators that your battery is not performing as well as it should:

● Clicking noise when turning the ignition

● Slow cranking

● Dim headlights when engine is ticking over, but bright when engine is revved

Are tyres affected by the cold temperatures?

Lower temperatures can result in your tyres losing pressure, which is why you want to be sure that your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure. As temperatures drop, the rubber on tyres starts to harden and gives less grip.

If you change your tyres at different times of the year, winter tyres will always have a better grip as they are made with a softer rubber compound and additional grips.

Is cold oil okay?

The drop in temperatures can have a major impact on your car’s fluids such as oil, antifreeze and other important fluids as they will start to thicken, despite the additives which are designed to stop this. Thick fluids are going to move more slowly, especially when it comes to your transmission fluid as this needs to move freely to maintain performance. To prevent this from happening, you want to have all fluids topped up with the correct formulas.

How to defrost the windshield

Make sure you clear the windshield before you turn on your wipers because if you don’t do this, you can cause problems such as torn blades and broken wiper transmissions, do not allow your wipers to freeze to your windshield. When defrosting your windshield, never use hot water as this can cause the glass to crack, instead use lukewarm water and select a lower hot air temperature from your car defroster. As the temperatures drop and dark nights roll in, you want to stay as safe as possible on the roads. Read more about our tips for driving in the dark. is the easiest and quickest way to get quotes from local garages in your area, saving you both time and money on your car repairs. Get your quote today!

Share this post

Car Service

Car Service

Need a basic, interim or full service? Compare quotes.

Get Quotes