Common Winter Car Issues and How to Prevent Them

 In About Cars, Car Maintenance, Driving Tips

Winter has arrived in the Rogue Valley, bringing holiday cheer — and a host of challenges for your vehicle. Cold temperatures can really take a toll, leading to common winter car issues. At Ashland Automotive, we understand the importance of keeping your vehicle running smoothly through the colder months. Here are some common winter car issues and practical tips to prevent and troubleshoot them.

Dead Batteries

Cold weather can significantly reduce a battery’s effectiveness. Before winter hits, have your battery tested to ensure it’s in good condition. If it’s more than five years old, consider replacing it preventatively. At the five year point you’ve already used 85% of your battery’s life span, and you might not want to roll the dice trying to get the last 15%. It helps to park your car in a garage whenever possible, and turn off all lights and accessories before turning off the engine to preserve battery life. Many newer cars do this automatically, but if yours doesn’t, consider making this a habit.

Issues with Wipers

Snow and ice accumulation can lead to wiper blade issues. Invest in winter-rated wiper blades designed to handle ice and snow. Check your wiper fluid regularly, using a winter blend that won’t freeze. If you’re a skier, resist the urge to leave your wiper arms pulled up while you’re on the hill. This is taxing on the springs designed to help keep the wipers clinging to the windshield at 65+ mph. Simply remember to turn the wipers off before shutting the vehicle off so they don’t try to wipe your window while frozen. Then let the windshield defrost before turning them on and driving down the hill.

Tire Pressure Fluctuations

Cold temperatures can cause tire pressure to drop, affecting traction and fuel efficiency. Check your tire pressure regularly and keep them inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendations which are located in the driver’s door jam. If you want you can inflate your tires to the tire manufacturer’s recommendations (located on the sidewall of the tire), which is usually a bit higher, but the tires should be cold when checking the pressure. And finally, remember that a $5 tire pressure gauge will give you a consistent reading about 20% of the time. Buy a good one. Also, consider switching to winter tires for improved grip in snowy and icy conditions.

Oil Thickening

Cold weather can cause engine oil to thicken, making it difficult for the engine to start. Use the recommended oil viscosity for winter and consider switching to synthetic oil, which performs better in colder temperatures and short-trip driving. 

By taking preventative measures and staying vigilant during winter, you can minimize the impact of winter car issues. Regular maintenance and proactive care will help ensure your vehicle stays reliable and ready for winter adventures.

We are proud to deliver professional services that help you efficiently manage any winter car issues that might arise. If you find yourself in need of service, don’t hesitate to give us a call, book an appointment online, or just walk in!

  • Website: ashlandautomotiveinc.com
  • Address: 550 Clover Lane, Ashland, OR
  • Phone: 541-482-4042
  • Request an Appointment: Click Here
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