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Top 4 Common Causes of Car Breakdowns Over Winter

Top 4 Common Causes Of Car Breakdowns Over Winter

I'm sitting here in my car and thinking "It would suck to have your car break down during the winter i would freeze my butt of." Then that got me thinking, whats the Common Causes of Car Breakdowns Over Winter? I dug into the research to find out a few things you can expect to cause problems in your car during winter. 

Top 4 Common Causes of Car Breakdowns Over Winter

  1. FREEZING BATTERY
  2. FREEZING ENGINE
  3. POOR TIRES
  4. JAMMED LOCKS

To start with, it is true that cars break down in winter more than they do in summer. So, winter is the time to expect all kinds of problems related to freezing of the engine and even battery. And especially without proper maintenance, it is OK to expect all manner of transport inconveniences with your car during frosty mornings and freezing nights.

So here's what you can do to easily and quickly get yourself out of these situations. A car breakdown can be harder to take in winter than summer if you must stay out in the cold nights waiting for recovery or towing services. You may need to learn a few things to do to help yourself in the situation in case of an emergency.

FREEZING BATTERY


Yes, it sometimes does but only in extremely frigid temperatures. A battery contains water in it. That water can start to freeze at only 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the same as water freezing temperature, especially if the cells are damaged and connections are done poorly, and due to a malfunctioning charging system. When water freezes inside the battery, it then causes ice cubes that can push the plates together hence causing shorting or damaging them mechanically. To the extent that you would have to replace the battery though in the long term.

You may not know you are suffering from a frozen battery until the car won’t start in that drizzly morning. But it can also fail to start the car if the charge production is hampered by cold as happens in winter. It’s time for an automotive or mechanic check. Just have it checked if there are intermittent failures in starting the car during winter.

Am talking from a point of information that a fully charged battery will not freeze until temperatures hit 76 degrees Fahrenheit. So this is the best way to stay out of a battery freezing problem. If the battery is not holding the charge, make sure to replace it. Otherwise, one short-term solution is to remove it and take it for charging.

FREEZING ENGINE



Sudden system failures like the car failing to start are very common during winter. If water is confined in the engine block and it does not have any additives added, it will freeze. The problem starts at water freezing temperatures. It is advisable to always have antifreeze added to the water. Thus it will not thaw properly.

Hah, what happens after the freeze is the water is unable to flow through the radiator. This is the same problem as happens when there is a leak or perhaps due to extreme temperatures. But in this case, you won’t see any steam. So there is no time to save the engine from freezing due to cold weather until you notice a failure to start the car.

You can use a portable heater or defroster to unfreeze the car if the engine is knocking. A fan heater can help to unfreeze the engine. Simply place it on the radiator of the car.

POOR TIRES



Hey. This one shocked me to know that 16% of winter car breakdowns happen because of problems related to tires. While it is never a requirement in many places to install cold weather tires, expect some travel and transportation inconveniences when snow strikes on roads if using ordinary summer tires. The tires lose traction and even increase collision risks. The same happens when the road is wet or icy to the extent that you will feel unsafe to travel and must stop the car to limit the danger. It is so serious that advanced drivers won’t use cars in the hefty winter.

It's hard to say if and when anyone will pour grit or salt on the road in winter to improve traction for your car before you travel, and again this will be relying on the local council, a situation you can’t control. And grit or sand may never come by if you live in the most remote parts of the country.

The way out? Probably contacting an auto mechanic to install winter tires, but the obvious solution will be towing the car to safety. Winter tires not only have deeper grooves on the surface but also they are made of a material containing high silica levels. The tread pattern will change according to the change in temperature, providing better traction in winter. You can drive on the side and wait for the weather to improve if you don’t mind.

JAMMED LOCKS



Did you know car locks can jam due to low temperatures? If for instance, you had the car cleaned recently and some moisture was left inside, low temperature can cause the water to freeze. Again you expect this to happen at normal water freezing temperatures. When it happens, it can prevent the key from turning the lock or the remote from opening the door. If there is a lot of frozen liquid then it can take hours to unfreeze. You can also experience the same problem with ignition locks.

This simple problem can prevent you from using, starting, or accessing the car while on road. Before breaking into the car, you should check a few of the recommended techniques for unlocking the locks easily and cost-effectively.

Vinegar can unfreeze locks although auto mechanics advise that you use it cautiously. You can also apply a couple of drops of rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer to the key before pushing it into the lock. It can also be used on door locks. The alcohol lowers the water's freezing temperature.

Again, do not be tempted to use petroleum-based products like the WD-40 or petroleum jelly. They can help to unlock but they can also degrade the car rubber. It is advisable to oil the car locks before you drive in winter.

 


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