As the temperature goes down, several vehicle repairs become more common and need attention. Check these car components to make sure they’re working.
When the winter weather lands, extreme cold, aggressive road conditions, and other factors could cause havoc on several automotive systems. From heaters that cease working to pesky windshield washer tanks that crack and leak, 5 common vehicle repairs are more popular in winter months than others. Listed below are the top 5 winter vehicle repairs you should be aware of, along with several routine maintenance tips you should follow. Finishing some of these repairs before great damage occurs could save you thousands of dollars.
- The heating System Failure
When a mechanical system functions on a part-time basis, it’s quite common for unexpected damage to happen. Since most of us only use our heating system during cold weather and winter seasons, seeing a problem with the heating system is arguably the leading winter-related automotive repair.
The heating system on most cars, trucks, and SUV’s works through the collaboration of two, independent components: the engine coolant system and the cabin air circulation system.
In order to function efficiently, each individual parts within these systems must work together. With most heating system failures, the heater core either becomes blocked or clogged with dirty radiator debris or sludge. A heating system failure of this nature could equally lead to engine overheating, which can cause significant damage to the car’s engine.Ensure to have a professional mechanic check your vehicle to determine the exact source of the heating system failure before repairs are attempted.
- Windshield Wiper Motor Change
A regular occurrence in winter is the onset of rain and snow. Thus, this is the time of year when windshield wipers are used frequently. It equally happens to be the most popular and most inopportune time for the windshield wiper motor to fail.
The winter wiper motor includes one or two individual gears that powers the individual windshield wiper blades when they are activated by the windshield switch. The windshield wiper motor has many individual parts that can all or independently fail. Sometimes a simple fuse or electrical relay change will be the only repair needed — which can save hundreds of dollars.
- Windshield Washer Tank Change
Windshield washer fluid is made to withstand cold temperatures — in most situations, up to 20-degrees below zero. While most are careful to only use windshield washer fluid, it is quite common for automotive consumers to “top-off the tank” with water. However, doing so sets them up for eventual windshield washer tank failure.
As the freezing temperatures land, water/washer fluid inside the tank will freeze, that then cracks the tank. As the temperatures thaw, water/washer fluid will leak from the reservoir until it gets empty and require replacement.
- Oil Cooler Line Replacement
The oil cooler line is another part that has a tendency to wear out or break during the winter season — but not often. Since most oil cooler lines are metallic, the issue that happens is not a failure of the actual line due to freezing, but damage to threads.
Winter damage to the oil cooler lines basically happens in extremely cold climates where cities use magnesium chloride or salt on roads. As cars drive over these roads, the salt or mag-chloride sticks to parts on the undercarriage of the car, truck, or SUV. Eventually, exposed threads will corrode and may loosen as the engine warms up.Damage to the oil cooler line can make oil to leak and potential overheating issues.
- The headlight Bulb Replacement
The headlight bulb is one of those parts that doesn’t require specific weather conditions to fail when properly encased. The problem of premature damage happens when the headlight housing is cracked or the rubber seal has been damaged. When the seal is broken, excessive moisture can leak inside the headlight, which can break the headlight bulb. Extreme cold conditions can equally cause the headlight housing or rubber seal to crack, which is a major reason why the winter season is popular for headlight bulb replacement.
As with any other mechanical system, the items presented above all have routine service and maintenance schedules. Most of the top 5 winter car repairs can be prevented by having a service completed by a professional mechanic as often as recommended by your car manufacturer.