How Winter Weather Affects Your Vehicle - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Dec 27, 2019

How Winter Weather Affects Your Vehicle


New York State is known for its harsh winters; a season full of biting winds, ice and – more often than not-- plenty of snow. While winter weather typically reminds us of necessary home maintenance, we can’t forget about how winter weather also affects our vehicles.

While winter weather can affect your vehicle in a multitude of ways, there are 5 main areas on your car that are especially at risk to damage during colder climates.

Battery
As temperatures drop, your car battery works harder. Typically, a car battery older than three years should be replaced by a professional mechanic. You don’t want to be stuck in a worst-case scenario with a dead battery in the middle of winter!

Wipers
It’s common for wipers to be replaced more often during the winter due to cold weather causing them to freeze to the windshield and become damaged.  If there’s an impending storm or if you plan on leaving your car outside overnight, it’s recommended to either take your wipers off or tilt them upwards to protect them from damage!

Tires
It’s not uncommon for the tire pressure light to come on in your vehicle’s dashboard during the winter time! In the cold, tires expand and contract when driving. Before the winter weather arrives, it’s recommended to inspect your tire pressure. Improper tire pressure could result in uneven tread wear or even a flat tire!

Undercarriage, Wheel Wells and Brakes
When considering the science involved, we know that metal and cold temperatures are not a good match. Metal—like the metal found in your tires—tends to shrink. Add salt and the other chemicals typically put on roads to prevent ice build-up and this can affect the undercarriage, wheel wells and brakes, causing rust and corrosion. Make a point to wash your car once a month to help remove chemical buildup!

Fluids
Your vehicle’s antifreeze, transmission fluid and oil will thicken in colder temperatures. When they thicken, the fluids have a harder time moving through the system and can cause a malfunction. To help prevent this, it’s recommended to run your car for 10 to 15 minutes to warm up or meet with your mechanic to top off these liquids before the winter weather hits.

Knowing how winter weather affects your vehicle is essential as you hit the snowy roads. Be proactive and ensure your vehicle is equipped with a car safety kit. This could come in handy if caught in an emergency situation! For additional safety, consider contacting your agent to add Roadside Assistance to your existing policy. Click the button below to learn more!


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