5 Ways the Cold Weather Can Damage Your Car

When winter hits, you know how to keep yourself safe and warm. You bundle up in layers of clothes, hats, gloves and scarves. But what can you do to protect your car?

Auto experts know that cold can do damage to vehicles over time, especially when temperatures dip below freezing.

Here are five of the most common ways cold can affect your vehicle.

Check your tire pressure
Check your tire pressure in cold weather!

1. Tire pressure
In cold weather, tire pressure tends to decrease at rest and increase when the car is moving. Be sure to inspect your tires if your tire pressure light comes on. Driving with too low or too much tire pressure can lead to uneven wear and a shortened lifespan for the tire. It can even cause a blowout on the road!

2. Thickening fluids
In the cold, your car’s fluids tend to thicken – making them move less freely. Starting the car 10-15 minutes early to warm up can help your fluids move better throughout your car while you drive. Always make sure your fluids are at the proper levels.

3. Salty issues
What do road crews use to melt that pesky snow and ice on the roads?

A salty road can spell trouble if you don't wash your car.
A salty road can spell trouble if you don’t wash your car.


Salt can stick to your car and cause metal components to corrode if left there. The undercarriage, brakes and wheel wells are particularly vulnerable. Wash your car frequently to eliminate salt buildup.

4. Dead batteries
Did you know your car battery works harder to start your car in cold weather because its starting capacity is reduced? If your battery is three to four years old, it could be time for a replacement. Take it to an auto mechanic to get it checked before it starts to get too cold outside. Storing your vehicle in a garage in the winter isn’t a bad idea, either.

5. Leaking
With constant temperature changes, condensation turns to water and then to ice. Inside the power steering, brake and engine transmission systems, this can cause leaks when the ice can’t move through the lines. If a malfunction occurs, leaks can be hazardous. We recommend flushing your fluids before winter and warming your car before driving in cold weather.