Severely cold temperatures can seriously damage your vehicle. But this isn’t just limited to the exterior being damaged by frost and cold, wet conditions – it can also affect one of the key elements that keeps your car running.
Car batteries keep their charge by using a liquid electrolyte solution, which can be affected by the temperature.
Although it takes extremely low temperatures to cause the battery to freeze, cold conditions can reduce the electrolyte solution’s ability to boot your car up to full power.
This is why it’s more likely you’ll experience trouble starting your car when temperatures drop, particularly if it goes below 0C.
The effects of the cold are likely to be worse the older your battery is, as they get weaker with time.
READ MORE: Drivers warned of massive damage to vehicles when clearing frost
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Your car paint can also be damaged by frost and ice if you try to remove it in the wrong way.
Low temperatures and frost can make trim pieces inside and outside your vehicle much more brittle than normal, especially if they’re made of plastic, which makes them more vulnerable to snapping or cracking.
The rubber on wiper blades can also freeze when the temperatures get cool enough for frost to form.
As a result, a wiper blade that’s stuck to the windshield can often tear when pulled away from the glass, causing it to streak and smear – which is also an MOT failure.
How can I protect my car from frost and cold?
If you have the luxury of being able to park your car out of the cold weather in a garage, then you should do this whenever there’s a pinch in the air.
If you don’t, there are still ways you can keep your car going through the coldest months.
Taking regular trips is essential to keeping your battery in check, and also warms up the engine and other parts, which will stop frost and ice from settling in.
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When it comes to looking after the exterior of your car in frosty conditions, taking care with how you treat your vehicle is essential.
Especially if you’re in a rush, it’s tempting to just scrape off frost and ice from the car’s exterior – but this should be avoided at all costs.
Instead, use an alcohol and water solution to break down ice.
Use two parts rubbing alcohol and one part water to create a safer solution to help break down the ice covering your windshield.
Once the ice starts to break down, use a sponge or soft-bristled brush, ice scraper to brush away the ice.
When you start your car, don’t run the wiper blades for a couple of minutes while the car warms up.
This will allow the rubber to unfreeze slightly and the blade to unstick from its resting position.
When leaving your car, always make sure your wiper blades are returned to their position at the bottom of the car, and not on the screen.
Frost can meld the wiper with the screen temporarily, and when you start the engine, the wiper will quickly attempt to move, which can cause damage to the screen and to the blade’s mechanisms.
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