What Does Your Thermometer Readout Mean for Your Car?

There might only be a month left of winter according to the calendar, but that doesn’t mean the cold temperatures are going away anytime soon. Cold weather can play havoc with different parts of your car, but knowing what to expect can help you prepare and catch problems before they start. Here’s what to look for at different temperatures:

It’s below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some problems stick around all winter long, and two of the most important ones are low battery pressure and spark plugs that won’t start. While there’s not much you can do to protect spark plugs beside keeping your car warm when you can, always check your tires pressure, especially after a sudden temperature drop, and consider keeping a portable air compressor in your car. They sell compact versions that can be powered by your car’s cigarette lighter and, while they take a while to fill your tires, it’s safer than driving on under-inflated ones.

It’s below 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

Your transmission fluid will thicken. This means it will be harder to make your car shift, and it provides far less lubrication than you’re used to. If the temperature tips toward freezing, let your car run idle for a few minutes (but not too long) in order to help warm it up. Also, consider getting synthetic fluid next time you change it; some cars can’t use it, but it provides a bit more of a buffer against the effects of the cold.

It’s below 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Your transmission fluid will thicken and your battery will drain more easily. Cold weather means your car needs more power to both turn on and to run throughout the drive. Make sure your jumper cables are handy and you know who to turn to for a charge.

It’s below 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Your transmission fluid will thicken, your battery will drain more easily, and your windshield wipers can break. Even once it’s below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, icy buildup can make the wipers stick to your windshield. If you don’t warm them up or manually pry them free, turning them on can break them.  But at 15 degrees, the material gets particularly brittle.

No matter what goes wrong with your car, give Key Collision and Paint Center a call for quick repairs.

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