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Auto Repair Shops’ Winter Tips

Understand How the Cold Affects Your Vehicle with Advice from Automotive Service Technicians

Winter is on its way back, and some parts of the province will already be seeing their overnight temperatures dip below freezing this week. Are you and your car ready? Your automotive service technician wants you to know that the cold weather can have quite the negative impact on the inner workings of your vehicle. Here are the ways your car can be affected:

Your Battery

In sub-zero temperatures, your battery will lose voltage—or electromotive force—meaning it will have a harder time getting started. Batteries past their prime may not even start at all—auto repair shops see dozens of cases of this every year. Your best line of defense is to have your battery tested before winter begins, and potentially replace it with a fresh one to ensure you can get started. Additionally, if you have access to a garage, use it.

Severe Operation

If you find yourself making shorter, more frequent trips in cold weather, you could be subjecting your car to what an automotive service technician calls “severe operation”—each time you run the vehicle, it doesn’t have the chance to warm up properly, and therefor continues to run at below-average efficiency. This can muck up your oil with water vapour and cause your exhaust to rust. The best way to avoid severe operation is to avoid trips where the engine doesn’t get the chance to fully warm up.

Motor Oil and Other Fluids

A trip to an auto repair shop for a thinner grade of oil and an engine block heater may pay off big-time; motor oil thickens in cold temperatures, making it harder to start your vehicle (those battery issues mentioned earlier don’t help). Other fluids can also thicken, making early operation sluggish.

Cabin Heat

Modern technology is a wonderful thing—unlike previous generations, we can now heat a car’s cabin on ignition! Unfortunately, the trade-off to this is that your engine will take longer to warm up and reach ideal efficiency when it’s sharing its heat with you, so you have to choose between being warm and saving gas.

Tires

This issue is two-fold. First, if you don’t use winter tires, you may have less grip on the roadways. This is because the rubber used in non-winter tires hardens in freezing temperatures, so that it can’t do its job as well. You will also lose tire pressure as temperatures drop, so make sure your tires are always properly inflated.

Don’t get stuck out in the cold—if you need help winterizing your vehicle, or repairing cold-weather damage, then pay a visit to an auto repair shop. The automotive service technicians within are here to help you keep driving!

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