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How Does Winter Affect Your Car?

Updated on October, 25th 2019

Thankfully, the cold winter months are fading away as we enter Spring, but in the UK, even the ‘warmer’ seasons can be dotted with freezing days and nights, and these freezing temperatures can cause issues for your vehicle. But what are those issues and how can they be prevented? This article will look into some of the most common winter issues and provide you with some solutions.

car battery in engine bay

Batteries Loose Charge

In the colder months, the low temperatures can severely affect the voltage of the battery, meaning that it can be slow to start, or it may not start at all. Keeping your car in a garage where possible is highly recommended, otherwise, be sure to test your battery before cold weather hits, so you can be aware of its capacity. It is also beneficial in the winter months to carry out some basic checks on your car to ensure everything is working efficiently, correctly and safely.

Mercedes c63 wheel and tyre

Tyre Pressure Changes

PSI is the unit by which tyre pressure is measured, and in cold weather, the pressure in your tyres can drop by 1 PSI for every 10C that the outdoor temperature drops by. Regular tyre pressure checks in cold weather can eliminate the risk of driving long distances on under-inflated tyres – if your tyres are not sufficiently inflated, your vehicle’s grip on the road can be hindered, as well as braking distance and fuel economy. Winter tyres are also available, with many benefits, they offer more grip and improved braking when compared to normal tyres.

Iced up windscreen in winter

Don’t Throw Hot Water On Your Windscreen

It is common to walk out to your car in the morning and find the windscreen to be frozen over, which slows your journey down as you try to get rid of the frost. It can be tempting to throw boiling water on the windscreen to melt it off and speed up the process – however, this should be avoided. The drastic change in temperature when the boiling water comes into contact with the windscreen can cause it to crack, or existing cracks to grow.

icy road with tyre treads

Braking and Grip for Winter Conditions

As well as the effect that the cold can have on the road surface, it can also have a cumulative effect on your vehicle’s brakes. The ice on the road, coupled with the grit and salt that is laid down by local authorities, can gather on your brakes over time, which can hamper their performance. It is also important to consider the road conditions and drive safely as stopping distance increases massively in winter months. Once the cold snap has passed, book your car in for a Spring service to ensure it is in top working order.

At Tyres Northampton, we are proud to provide comprehensive servicing and MOTs as well as our vast range of high-quality tyres from the world’s leading manufacturers. If you would like to know more, please feel free to get in touch with us today.


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