Apart from slippery wintertime accidents, the cold, snow and ice can wreak havoc on cars, sometimes leading to costly repairs. Unfortunately, there’s little you can do during a winter storm, but knowing what may happen can help you avoid such problems, or least know what damages to look for once the sun comes back out. Let’s look at some common snowy damages that vehicles face:
- Dead battery: Most car batteries have a three-year lifespan, but extremely cold temperatures can drain the voltage. If it’s colder than 30°F, you may even have trouble starting your car. Always carry jumper cables in your trunk in case you need some extra juice to get you to a mechanic for a new battery.
- Failed windshield wipers: Severe winter weather can tear up wiper blades and ruin wiper transmissions. To reduce the pressure on the delicate wiper system, clear ice off your windshield before operating the wipers.
- Thickened fluids: Cold temperatures can thicken the fluids that your car needs to run smoothly, such as motor oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze, power steering fluid and brake fluid. Thickened, slow-moving fluids may prevent your car from functioning.
- Scratches and chips: Ice and road salt can easily scratch up your paint job or chip your windshield and/or headlights. Once the storm passes, get the stuff off your car as soon as possible. Start with a good rinse to avoid further damage from the gritty salt and finish with a thorough wash, including the car’s undercarriage.
- Corroded undercarriage: Many states now use a salt priority to clear icy roads, rather than the old combination of salt and sand. Salt priority contains 100 percent salt, enhanced with magnesium chloride. While it’s very effective at clearing roads, it is extremely corrosive to cars. Mechanics have noted a recent rise in extremely deteriorated undercarriages and brake lines, costing car owners big bucks to repair.
While parking in a garage and keeping your car as clean as possible can help you avoid some of these issues, it’s not uncommon to experience at least one winter-related car woe. Have you found a way to keep your car in peak condition throughout Mother Nature’s harshest season?
A dangerous season calls for exceptional coverage. Call Tabitha E. Walker Insurance Agency at (540) 657-5633 for more information on Fredericksburg auto insurance.