Ownership: How Severe Cold Affects Your Car (and What to Do about It) - PressFrom - US
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OwnershipHow Severe Cold Affects Your Car (and What to Do about It)

16:30  31 january  2019
16:30  31 january  2019 Source:   caranddriver.com

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It ’s cold outside. Few places in the U.S. know cold better than Alaska, and James Grant, who owns Right Choice Automotive Repair in Fairbanks, has seen a bit of what frigid temperatures can do to vehicles. We talked with Grant as well as the Car Care Council to find out how the cold can affect

How Cold Affects Cars . Get a free quote today. to find out costs and procedures involved in shipping your car from Australia to New Zealand. Know what to do during a winter Other than being uncomfortable, the real dangers of severe cold are hypothermia and frostbite.

How Severe Cold Affects Your Car (and What to Do about It)© Getty Images Here are some of the problems deep freezes and cold temperatures can cause to your cars and trucks, as well as their solutions.

In much of the eastern and midwestern United States, it’s that time of year when it is so bitterly freezing that even a 30-degree day can feel like a balmy respite. Temperatures plummet into the single digits, wind chills are painful and dangerous, and talk of polar vortexes and bomb cyclones fills the media. It’s cold outside.

Few places in the U.S. know cold better than Alaska, and James Grant, who owns Right Choice Automotive Repair in Fairbanks, has seen a bit of what frigid temperatures can do to vehicles. We talked with Grant as well as the Car Care Council to find out how the cold can affect cars and trucks and hear about any possible solutions.

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As the temperature drops, so do your chances of your car running properly. This will prevent going out to your car and finding a dead battery. Keeping vehicles in a garage is one definite Extreme cold pulls voltage from a battery, making it harder for your car to start. A typical battery is most Severe thunderstorms, a tornado and widespread flooding delivered a jolt up and down the Northeast part of

Car and Driver is the worldwide leader in providing objective test results and expert vehicle reviews. Follow us for the latest automotive reviews and Add your thoughts about any Tweet with a Reply. Find a topic you’re passionate about, and jump right in. Learn the latest. Get instant insight into what

Problem: Deflated tires

As the air in your tires gets colder, it contracts and has less pressure. Tires correspondingly become underinflated.

Solution: Check your tire pressure more often than you normally would. The Car Care Council recommends doing so once a week. You might think a little deflation provides better traction, but tire experts caution against running tires below manufacturers’ recommended pressure, as that can cause uneven or unsafe tread wear. Getting winter tires is always a good idea in states with inclement weather.

Problem: Dead battery

Winter is especially hard on batteries. If your car won’t start in the extreme cold, one of the most likely problems is that the battery is dead.

Solution: The good news is that it can be an easy fix: jumper cables are not hard to use. But to avoid a dead battery altogether, the Car Care Council suggests keeping its connections clean, tight, and free of corrosion. It also recommends replacing batteries that are more than three years old. Those in the coldest climates may want to purchase a battery warmer, available at most auto parts stores or online. The warmers typically cost between $30 and $70.

When To Say No To Riding

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When does gas freeze and how does cold affect fuel economy? Know what to do during a winter Other than being uncomfortable, the real dangers of severe cold are hypothermia and frostbite. What happens if your car gets stuck and you have to push? You’ll overheat, sweat, and wish you

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Problem: Thick oil

As it gets colder, oil gets thicker. At about 20 degrees below zero, by Grant’s estimate, oil gets so thick that the engine’s oil pump struggles even to pick it up and circulate it. “The viscosity just goes way up, and it’s like trying to pour molasses,” he said.

Solution: The Car Care Council recommends switching to low-viscosity oil in the winter. Drivers in subzero climates should go from 10W-30 to 5W-30. “Synthetic oils will help out a great deal,” Grant noted. Don’t forget to read your owner’s manual, as the manufacturer may specify an oil weight for cold-weather operation.

Problem: Ice in the fuel line

Unless you live somewhere where the temperature gets down to 100 degrees below zero, the gasoline in your car will not freeze. However, water moisture in the gas lines can become icy. “In regard to fuel, one of the things we do see, if there’s any water content inside the fuel tank, that water can freeze and clog fuel pickup,” Grant said.

How Do You Know When It's Too Cold To Ride?

How Do You Know When It's Too Cold To Ride? Dodge Rider explains the different stages of getting cold and what to do about it. There are some hardcore riders out there who will continue to ride year round, regardless of temperature, even in cold climates. We don't recommend it, but those who do it anyway need to be extra careful of the dangers that cold weather riding can bring. YouTuber Dodge Rider breaks it down for us. As the winter solstice approaches, many of us in northern climates have already put our bikes away for the season. Occasionally, though, an unusually warm day will come along, tempting us to haul the bike out one more time.

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The app relies on your car ’s OBD II diagnostics port, which was made mandatory for cars built from 1996 onward, into which you plug a cellular-enabled, Openbay-supplied device. How Severe Cold Affects Your Car ( and What to Do about It ).

Solution: Keep the tank at least half full, the Car Care Council says.

Problem: Lethargic screens

If your car has liquid crystal display (LCD) screens, such as for infotainment, you may notice that they become a bit sluggish when the car has been sitting in extreme cold. That’s because, just like the engine’s oil and the battery’s electrolyte, molecules in liquid crystals slow down when the temperatures drop.

Solution: In vehicles where this is an issue, there is not much you can do beyond waiting for the car to warm up. Installing an engine-block heater will help speed things along.

Problem: Windshield wiping woes

Sub-freezing temperatures can cause the rubber on windshield wiper blades to become brittle, which means it could tear or crack. Also, some washer fluid may not work as well in colder months.

Solution: The Car Care Council said you could consider buying winter wiper blades made for harsher climates, but you could also just make sure the ones you have are not too old and worn. The council recommends replacing them every six months, but surely few people are that zealous with their windshield wiper blades.

Warming Up Your Car in the Cold Just Harms the Engine

Warming Up Your Car in the Cold Just Harms the Engine The long-held notion that you should let your car idle in the cold is only true for carbureted engines. In the thick of winter, the common wisdom is that when you are gearing up to take your truck out in the cold and snow, you should step outside, start up your engine, and let it idle to warm up. But contrary to popular belief, this does not prolong the life of your engine; in fact, it decreases it by stripping oil away from the engine's cylinders and pistons. In a nutshell, an internal combustion engine works by using pistons to compress a mixture of air and vaporized fuel within a cylinder.

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Doctors explain how to tell if you have a head cold or something more serious that requires medical attention, such as the flu, strep throat This is especially true if you have a chronic condition such as asthma, severe allergies, diabetes While cold symptoms affect the whole upper respiratory system

Problem: The windshield is frozen on the inside

If your car’s defrost function isn’t working properly, that can be a serious safety issue. “Your breath can condense and freeze on the inside of the windshield as you drive without a defrost function,” Grant said.

Solution: Make sure all defrosting and general heating functions in your vehicle are in working order.

Problem: Antifreeze not living up to its name

Engine coolant, a.k.a. antifreeze, will not be as effective at protecting your engine against the elements if it’s old or has an improper ratio of coolant to water.

Solution: The Car Care Council warns not to add 100 percent antifreeze because it actually has a higher freeze point when not mixed with water. It’s a good idea to have engine coolant that is made for colder climates. If you really want to avoid a trip to the mechanic, Grant noted that you can check your coolant’s freeze point with a tool called a refractometer. “Most late model vehicles come equipped with extended-life coolant that will withstand the cold, but it should be checked,” he said. Your car’s coolant should be flushed and refilled at least every two years, according to the Car Care Council.

Problem: “Snow snakes”

Grant said the term refers to older serpentine belts that get so cold that they either break because they’re worn and the cold has done them in, or the belts are so frigid that they don’t bend. The problem pertains especially to older belts that are more brittle.

Here's what to do if your car won't start in cold weather

Here's what to do if your car won't start in cold weather If you woke up this morning and your car won't start, it's probably too late.

Car and Driver is the worldwide leader in providing objective test results and expert vehicle reviews. Follow us for the latest automotive reviews and Add your thoughts about any Tweet with a Reply. Find a topic you’re passionate about, and jump right in. Learn the latest. Get instant insight into what

Car and Driver is the worldwide leader in providing objective test results and expert vehicle reviews. Follow us for the latest automotive reviews and Add your thoughts about any Tweet with a Reply. Find a topic you’re passionate about, and jump right in. Learn the latest. Get instant insight into what

Solution: “Just make sure your belts are in good shape,” Grant said.

It may be a bit late to hand out this advice this year, but for future reference, the Car Care Council recommends taking your car or truck in for an inspection before winter hits so you can stave off the above problems ahead of time. “Vehicles need extra attention when temperatures drop below zero,” executive director Rich White points out. “Whether consumers perform an inspection and required maintenance themselves or go to a repair shop, it’s a small yet important investment to avoid the aggravation and unexpected and potentially dangerous cost of a breakdown in freezing weather.”

Read more winter car care tips on MSN Autos | Follow MSN Autos on Facebook and Twitter

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