As the winter months approach and the temperature slowly begins to drop below freezing, taking care of your vehicle becomes more and more important. Cold temperatures, snow, ice, and bone-chilling winds can all wreak havoc on your car – not to mention all the road salt that builds up on your vehicle all season. Aside from protecting your vehicle from the harsh elements, a steel garage or carport also makes it a bit more comfortable to venture outside in the snow. Rather than warming up the car and scraping the windows, your vehicle will already be free of any snow and ice. Comfort aside, plummeting temperatures can lead to a variety of problems.
For starters, your vehicle’s fluids (oil, coolant, transmission, brake, power steering) become more viscous and thick in cold weather. This causes the fluids to move less freely, like a cold bottle of maple syrup as opposed to a warm one. Fluids are not thin enough in their cold state to be forced through internal seals, which can tear the seals and cause other internal issues. Pumps, lines, and entire mechanical systems can malfunction as a result. It is wise to start your car 10-15 minutes early to allow for your vehicle’s fluid to warm up. It is also a good idea to change your fluids before it gets too cold. This way, you know that your vehicle’s fluid levels are correct and that it is prepared for the harsh weather conditions that lie ahead.
When temperatures drop, a car battery must work harder to start the car because the low temperatures reduce its starting capacity. If the battery in your car is three or four years old, you should seriously consider buying a new battery before the winter. This really is the safest insurance to avoid a dead battery and the stress that accompanies it. Warmer temperatures (like the kind you might find in one of our insulated steel garages) make it easier for the battery to start the car, which is why a garage or carport is so highly recommended.
Tire pressure can also fluctuate in extreme temperatures – decreasing at rest and increasing as you begin to drive your car. Driving with incorrect tire pressure can cause a drop in fuel efficiency, uneven tire wear, and the possibility of a tire blowout. Always inspect the tires and use an air pressure gauge to ensure that they are filled to the correct specifications.
Just like how the constant freezing and thawing of water on the roads creates potholes, it can do the same to your vehicle. Cracks and leaks caused by ice can affect the power steering, brake, and transmission systems and can be very dangerous if a malfunction occurs while driving. Once again, it is important to warm up your vehicle before driving and flush and replace all of your fluids before the cold temperatures set in.
Road salt also poses a real threat to the value, quality, and strength of your vehicle. We have written before about the hazards of road salt during the winter months. It is wise to wash your car as often as possible to remove salt: do not use a cloth to wipe away salt, as this can scratch your paint.
Your vehicle is one of the biggest investments you will ever make. Maintaining it and protecting its value can make a huge difference when it comes time to trade it in and buy a new one. By choosing a steel garage or carport from Steel Building Garages, your car will be protected year-round from the worst of mother nature’s wrath. Our durable steel buildings are meant to last for generations and can be completely customized to fit your exact needs. Protect your investments and call Steel Building Garages today!