Cold Weather Affects Cars. Make Sure You Stay Safe.

Cold Weather Impact on CarFor people who love the cold, this is the best time of the year. This is the time where daylight savings ends and the temperature begins to drop. Just like everyone has to adjust to the weather by bundling up, drivers will have to adjust to the conditions that the cold weather will cause for their cars.

The cold weather can create some conditions for cars that can impact a driver’s ability to drive safely on the road. In addition to ice and snow, the cold weather itself can impact a car in several ways. The Maryland car accident attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A., discuss the impact of cold weather on vehicles in today’s blog.

How does the cold weather affect a car’s tires?

When the temperature drops, so does the tire’s pressure. This is because the air in a tire contracts when it is exposed to cold temperatures. Low tire pressure causes poor traction in a tire and can even lead to tire failure. Another way the cold weather affects tires is by hardening the rubber on the tires.

The hardening of the rubber weakens the tire’s ability to grip the road, making it even more difficult for the driver to maintain control of the car. Drivers can prevent these tire issues by replacing their car’s current tires with winter tires and remain aware of the air in the tires.

How does the cold weather affect a car’s battery?

The cold weather cools the car’s battery down. When the temperature reaches zero and the battery is cold, it is much more difficult to start the car. This is because the temperature slows the chemical process inside the ability and affects the battery’s ability to hold a charge.

The older a car’s battery, the more likely the battery will fail to retain a charge, which can leave you stranded on the side of the road. Drivers can avoid any battery issues in the winter by having their battery checked by a mechanic. If the battery’s more than three years old, drivers may want to consider replacing the battery before heading into winter.

How does the cold weather affect a car’s fluids?

The cold weather affects a car’s fluids by thickening them. Fluids like oil, transmission fluid and antifreeze are thickened as the temperatures drop. When the fluids thicken, they will not flow as freely throughout the engine, which can wear out the parts more quickly. Drivers can prevent any engine malfunctions by making sure that all fluids are at the correct level and allowing their engine to warm up for a few minutes before driving.

How does the cold weather affect a car’s windshield wipers?

Every driver has been guilty of not properly clearing their windshield of all ice and snow before driving. Even when ice and snow have not fallen, drivers do not always take the time to make sure their windshields are clear of any ice or debris. Some drivers will even turn their windshield wipers on in an attempt to quickly clear the debris off of the windshield.

This action is not helpful to drivers because the windshield wipers can take on serious damage when trying to clear the debris. The cold weather can make the plastic parts that hold the blades very brittle, making it more likely that the wipers will fall apart. Failing to properly clear the windshields can also decrease the driver’s vision while driving. Drivers can avoid this type of damage by just taking additional time to manually clear the windshield of all debris before driving.

A quick note about rooftop snow and debris in Maryland

Despite the dangers, it is not illegal to drive in Maryland while your car is covered in snow. Perhaps, though, it should be. Not only can the snow or ice slide down in front of your windshield while you are driving, but it can also fall onto the road, creating a hazard for other drivers. A big pile of snow falling onto a road can cause drivers to swerve or affect the traction in tires. To avoid being in (or creating the conditions for) a car accident, it is best to wipe off your roof before you drive.

How does the cold weather affect a car’s leakage?

The conditions of the cold weather, combined with the process of warming up the car, lead to additional condensation during the winter. When a car is warming up and cooling down, the metal and plastic parts of the car begin to collect condensation. When condensation turns to water, it will not be too long before the water turns to ice.

The formation of ice in systems like power steering, engine, and brake transmission is dangerous because it creates leaks. The leaks occur because the ice cannot travel through the lines and systems of the car. To avoid any leakage issues for the winter, drivers should request that a mechanic flush all of the fluids and continue to warm up the car before driving.

How does the cold weather cause corrosion in cars?

The cold weather can cause corrosion for cars when elements like salt that are used to melt snow in the streets damage the metal parts of a car. The more that a car is driven in the winter, the larger the amount of salt that is collected and stuck to the undercarriage of a car. Drivers can avoid this type of damage by washing their cars at least once a month, and make sure not to wipe the salt down.

Dealing with the effects of a serious car accident is hard; choosing the right Maryland car accident lawyer to represent your interests need not be. Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. creates options for auto accident victims in Baltimore, Columbia, and throughout Maryland after a serious injury threatens to alter their lives forever. Call our experienced personal injury team at 410-730-7737 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.