Vehicles are unpredictable machines. Even those with newer vehicles equipped with the latest technology. However, for vehicles to stay in top performance long term, it’s good to recognize that cars can be affected by weather changes.
Winter is a particularly tough time of year for cars. Even for those living in sunny California, significant temperature changes can present issues. Here are five auto parts to check during the winter months to help your car running at its best all year long.
Our cars are usually dirtiest in the winter. Rainwater and road salt are the biggest culprits. Damage to our car’s paint finish can occur when rainwater collects on our vehicles. When that water evaporates, damage is caused by the thin layer of dirt, minerals, and pollutants that remain. Rock salt is also damaging to your vehicle’s paint.
Not only does it deposit itself into chips and dents- accelerating the rusting process, but it can also be responsible for causing chips in your paint. Wash it regularly to prevent the buildup of rain and salt pollutants and while you’re at it, consider protecting it with wax. For best results, consult a professional detail shop like Five Star Auto Detailing, and make sure to have the undercarriage cleaned as well.
2. Belts and Hoses
Cold temperatures can cause rubber parts to contract. Rubber vehicle parts like belts and hoses need inspection during the winter months. Inspect belts for cracks and fraying. Cooling system hoses should be checked for leaks and cracks, as well. Additionally, they should be checked for brittleness or sponginess. Inspect these parts and have them replaced to prevent potential costly repairs.
3. Exhaust System
The bottom rear of most vehicles is where you will typically find your exhaust system and muffler. These parts should be checked at least once a year, and winter is a great time to do this. Damage can occur to the exhaust system from icy road conditions and hard snow. In addition, potholes, large bumps, and debris in the road can also present hazards.
So what are some ways we can inspect our exhaust system?
Exhaust systems that are damaged may rattle, hiss, roar, or vibrate. Listen for these sounds and have your car inspected by a mechanic, if present. Additionally, we can identify possible problems in our exhaust system by the smoke emitted from that area of our vehicle. White smoke is normal and is generally present as your cooler vehicle heats. However, colored smoke that is either blue or black/gray are indicators of mechanical problems in the exhaust system. They should be inspected and repaired as soon as possible. Prolonged exposure to exhaust fumes can be life-threatening. In addition, the trunk and floorboards of the car must be examined to ensure these fumes are not entering the car through these areas.
4. Fuel System
Cold temperatures can affect your fuel system. A fuel injector may help. Consider adding one to your fueling system to prevent problems. Schedule a fuel injection cleaning or flush with Five Star Auto Center. This can eliminate rough idling and hard starts. Water that may be present in the gas tank during winter can also cause issues. Low temperatures can cause the water to freeze. It’s also helpful to keep your tank at least half full-making it harder for water to make its way into your fuel system.
Low temperatures, combined with fluid stiffening issues, can cause transmission failure during winter months. One serious issue to avoid is water in the transmission system. Large puddles can wreak havoc on your transmission; if stranded in one, do not start your vehicle. Call a tow truck and get towed to your nearest transmission center.
Additionally, check your transmission fluid levels and ensure that you’re using the right kind of fluid when changing it. On average, flushing and replacing transmission fluid should be done every 30,000 miles. Make an appointment for your transmission service with Five Star Auto Center in Rocklin, CA.
Five Star Auto Center is located in Rocklin, CA, serving the greater Sacramento region. We offer a wide variety of automotive care services at competitive prices. Contact us for your next oil change, hand wash, auto repair or auto detailing. We conveniently offer online appointments and the option to pay for some services online, with a fully disclosed starting price list for other services. Remember to check out our coupon page for regularly changing specials. For any other questions, call Five Star Auto Center at 916-315-0555.