3 Ways the Weather Affects Vehicles

driving-in-bad-weather

You likely use your car all year round, and maybe you don’t really think about the weather other than to decide what to wear and what the driving conditions are like. However, the truth is that weather of all kinds can affect vehicles, and your car might be being damaged by heat or cold without you even knowing about it. Because of this, it’s useful to get more of an insight into what happens when the temperature changes so you can keep your car as safe as possible. 

Tire Pressure

The tire pressure in your car can change as the temperature changes, and this could make a difference to not only the comfort but the safety of driving that vehicle. Some cars will have a sensor that lights up and indicates that there is a tire pressure issue, and others will rely on the driver feeling that there is a difference in the road handling of the car. Even if your car does have a sensor for the tires, it’s good to understand the difference in the car as well, just in case those sensors fail or you drive a car that doesn’t have them one day. 

The cold weather is particularly concerning for tires. The pressure often drops when the weather gets colder since cold air contracts (so the tires contract too). However, road friction can make them warmer again. This means that the tire pressure can change quickly, and this is not good for the health of the tires, causing uneven wear or even flats. 

Fluids

The fluids in your car’s engine include:

  • Oil
  • Water
  • Brake fluid
  • Antifreeze 
  • Transmission fluid

These won’t behave any differently to fluids anywhere else, meaning they will thicken when they get colder. Thicker liquids don’t travel through the engine as quickly or efficiently, and this can mean damage to the car or poor performance. 

Check the fluids in your car regularly, and if they need changing, do so before they cause any damage. If you’re not going to use your car for more extended periods over the winter, it’s better to store it somewhere safe to keep it protected. You can find out more at https://www.storagearea.com/car-storage.html

Materials

Colder weather also affects the various different materials within your car, such as glass, metal, and plastic. These can all warp, shrink, or even break if the weather becomes too cold. To combat this, your car should not be subjected to extreme temperatures if at all possible. Ideas such as pouring warm water on a frozen windshield might seem like good ones, but they can do a lot of damage; the windscreen should be allowed to heat up slowly, so take this into account and leave the house a few minutes earlier if you need to defrost the windscreen, for example. 

Your car is going to be subject to the elements and the weather as, by its very nature, it is designed to be used outside. However, there are, as mentioned above, some things you can do to protect it or at least give you an idea of what to be aware of when owning a car. 

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Tom Brown

Tom Brown is an automotive market enthusiast living in the United States. He holds a diverse background in automotive marketing and enjoys utilizing that to produce insights into the inner workings of the industry.
Tom Brown
Tom Brown is an automotive market enthusiast living in the United States. He holds a diverse background in automotive marketing and enjoys utilizing that to produce insights into the inner workings of the industry.