How the Cold Weather Might Affect Your Car

Winter is upon us and it could be a nightmare if you need to drive on frozen roads. Snow fall and freezing temperatures can affect your vehicle in several ways. Here’s list of the vehicle components that might get affected by extreme cold weather.

The battery

Extreme cold temperatures can drain your car battery completely. A normal battery can last for about 2 to 3 years, but cold weather has the ability to kill your battery much sooner. Keeping your car in a garage will ensure good health for the battery. Giving proper attention to battery care and maintenance will also ensure long life for your vehicle’s battery, while making sure that your car starts every time you turn on the ignition, says an article by Certified Auto Mall Towing & Recovery.

Fuel and other fluids

Studies have shown that your car’s engine takes longer to reach its maximum fuel efficiency in cold weather, which affects the fuel economy, says an article by Acccuweather. It takes more time to heat up, especially in the mornings. Generally, when the temperature drops, the fluid thickens, which makes it harder for the various car fluids to flow smoothly, reducing the speed and efficiency of your vehicle. So, check all the fluids in your vehicle, including oil, power steering, transmission fluids, antifreeze, etc., on a regular basis in winter.


Tires contract in the cold, which reduces their traction. Tire pressure also gets affected when the temperature changes. Tire pressure can affect the durability, reliability and friction of your tires, making it harder to drive in snowy conditions, says an article on The Telegraph. So, if you live in a cold region, choose winter tires or snow tires over all-season ones, since the former have treaded patterns that increase friction. If you don’t know how to identify a winter tire, just look for a mountain and snow flake icon on the side walls of the tire. Make sure you check the monitor light for tire pressure, before you go for a drive.

Spark plugs

A clogged filter, defective spark plugs or bad ignition component can cause your car not to start. As the temperature drops, it will be harder for you to start your engine and will directly affect its reliability. Make sure you have high quality spark plugs to bear extreme weather conditions.

Along with checking your car components, make sure you are driving slow and choosing the shortest and safest route while on icy roads.