#Headsup: What do below-zero temps do to your vehicle and what can you do about it?
This #Headsup is brought to you by McDonald’s
Extreme cold temps as we’re going to experience over the coming days can impact your automobile in some predictable ways. Let’s remind ourselves of those below and some tips to maybe avert these issues:
Your battery may not want to kick-over the starter to turn your engine on. And, that’s a no-go. When temperatures drop below zero, a healthy battery can lose as much as half it’s ability to push current. If your battery won’t kick over you can wait for warmer days, park it in a garage or purchase a new battery. Given than they have a life of roughly 3 years, it’s likely time for a new one anyway.
Feeling like a low rider?
You remember 10th-grade physics right? Cold temps make gases contract. The air in your tires has to obey these laws. It’s estimated that for every 10-degree temperature drop your tires can lose a pound of pressure. So, if you inflated your 35 psi tires when it was 50 degrees outside, tomorrow when the temperature drops to -20 degrees, you could be riding on 28 psi and be sitting noticeably lower. Give your tires a quick check to ensure that you’re at the psi you need to ensure grip and a comfortable ride that doesn’t damage them.
Easy on the door slamming
Your vehicle has parts made of metal, wood, rubber and plastic. Cold temps can make those plastic parts significantly more brittle. Slamming doors or going all Conor McGregor on the dials, knobs, and switches could mean a cracked part.
More Physics class reminders
Liquids freeze or can thicken when temps go below zero. That will affect their ability to perform. Even liquids with lower freezing points (like windshield wiper fluid) can fall victim to minus 20-degree temperatures. Further, your windshield wipers have a thin edge of rubber that they use to get their job done. When these freeze against the windshield, or if there’s ice on the glass, turning them on before ensuring that they’re free to move and that the windshield is free of ice, can damage the wiper blades either by tearing them or grinding off that clean edge. Moreover, they’re not going to perform as you’d like.