Common Car Problems in the Winter

With the temperatures warming to the 40’s and 50’s this past weekend, everyone was thinking spring. Unfortunately, those thoughts were short lived with the return of snow showers and single-digit temperatures at the beginning of the week.

And the wrath of winter weather doesn’t stop with us. It extends to our cars. The good news is, though, there are a number of things you can do to safeguard your car.

Batteries

One of the most common problems faced by drivers in the winter is failed batteries. Some contributing factors to a battery’s demise in the winter are how long you’ve had the battery and the quality of the battery going into winter. At Jim Shorkey, we suggest stopping by one of our Service Centers and having your battery checked before the winter starts.

According to AAA, your car’s battery can lose about 35% of its efficiency when the temperature is around 0 degrees.

Frozen Lines

The fuel lines carry gasoline from the tank to the engine. When you drive, the gasoline runs through the lines and keeps them clear. Sometimes, condensation can build up in these lines and, if left in cold weather too long, can freeze. To prevent this, you should take special care in keeping your gas tank at least half full, or between 3/4 to full throughout the cold months.

Winter Car Breakdown

If you have questions about how to keep your car safe in winter, contact our maintenance experts at any of our Jim Shorkey locations. If you run into problems, our service professionals can help.

 

Preparing Your Jim Shorkey Vehicle for Pittsburgh’s Winter Weather

Living in Pittsburgh you grow accustomed to beautiful summers and terrible winters, but have you done what it takes to make sure your car lasts this winter? Checking your car is a smart and safe route to take to avoid any troubles or problems you may encounter during the harsh winter times. The last thing you want is to break down on the side of the road during a cold winter night, so here are something’s you should check regularly before the winter starts and during the winter.

  • One of the first things you should ask yourself before winter starts is when was the last time my car had a tune up? If you cannot remember than you should get one as soon as possible. The winter time exposes problems that you may have not known existed; such as bad performances or hard starts.
  • The car battery and electrical systems are next. The winter time is hard on car batteries and electrical systems forcing the two to work twice as hold during cold weather scenarios compared to any other times of the year. Cold weather affects the chemical process in the battery which reduces the batteries ability to hold an electrical charge.
  • Antifreeze is another big one during the winter times. Failure to check your antifreeze can lead to a very expensive problem for you in the long run. Cold weather can cause cracked hoses, ruptured radiators and even water pump failure; so if you do not know when the last time you changed your antifreeze than maybe it’s time to do so now. (Clean and Flush)
  • Check all wipers and defrosters regularly, just to make sure everything is working properly and if you happen to get stuck one night you will not freeze to death. (Side note: your windshield wipers should be changed every six months).
  • Check tired tread and make sure your tires and up to good standings while driving in the snow. Also, take note that just because you have new or snow tires, this does not mean it works on ice. The tires are used for traction on snowy surfaces not ice on the roads. Make sure you also check your tire pressure (Weekly). Winter time can release the pressure in your tires more rapidly than other times of the year.
  • Brakes are something you should be well up to standards with during the winter; the last thing you want is to be going down a snowy hill and your brakes giving out on you. Make sure you get your brakes checked so that this does not become an issue for you. (Check out another one of blogs about how to extend your brake life).
  • Make sure you check your exhaust system to make sure no carbon dioxide is leaking in your car while the windows are closed.
  • Check your lights, body and windows during the winter; the winter time can create cracks that are not visible from far distances.
  • Lastly is your oil and filter; old oil can cause you a lot of trouble during the winter time. Make sure you get a regular oil check and if necessary change to your oil to “winter weight” during this time of the season.

frozen-car-winter

This time of the year can be brutal on your car, but it is up to you to make sure your car is in good health. You must protect it and take care of it and if you need any assistance do not hesitate to stop by at one of our Jim Shorkey Family Auto Group services with any help or checkups.