Let’s face it: winter’s here, and when something happens to your Honda, it always feels like we’re playing the “could’ve, should’ve” game. Instead, it’s great to be aware of everything that might happen to your car because it’s getting chilly out, and take responsibility for them. It means you’ll be able to drive to the mountains to play, get to and from work safely, and visit your family with no worries.
One of the most common—and troublesome—problems is finding out your car won’t start because of the cold. We’ll cover the two biggest reasons for that, and leave you with a list of some other things you need to check into before it’s too late.
Non-Starter #1: Bad Battery
This is a really sneaky problem, because a bad car battery will hit you when you least expect it. No matter what brand or how old the battery is, there’s still no guarantee that it won’t fail on you. The internal problem is that the plates on the battery short out—there may be no warning whatsoever, and you won’t even be able to jump-start the engine afterwards.
While most batteries don’t freeze or crack, it might end up that this is the reason for your dead battery. Some batteries can freeze, crack, and even explode if the temperature is right—usually, it’s the result of mishandling during summer maintenance.
Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to prevent this from happening. First, make sure you’re driving your car every few days, and that includes hitting the interstate or highway so you can maintain a constant speed for a little while.
Next, have your batteries tested next time you go in for an oil change—that way, you’ll have a grasp on what the capacity is like, and maybe you’ll prevent an incident.
Non-Starter #2: Viscous Oil
When it’s cold out, that temperature affects the oil you’ve got in your engine. And if it’s the wrong viscosity in the first place, then the oil might not reach all of the parts of your engine. That means that your engine is running while under-lubricated, which spells disaster. Getting oil that’s too viscous is a huge mistake and liability.
So you’ve got your finger on the stuff that can catch you off guard in the worst way. You’re not out of the woods yet—there’s still a few things you need to keep an eye on for your car to run smoothly. Check it out:
- Tires: Check pressure, tread. Think about swapping into winter tires, grabbing chains, and don’t forget to inspect the spare.
- Windshield: Don’t underestimate how important a clean windshield is during winter! If there’s a lot of debris on there, it can pick up light from the sun off of any moisture on the road or car and blind you. Check to see if your wiper blades need to be replaced, especially after heavy snow where salt might be in play.
- Antifreeze: Get your mechanic to check if you’ve got the right concentration of antifreeze for the recent weather and have them top it off if you need to.
- Brakes: All of the moisture on the ground makes this time of year the most important to have your brakes checked. If you hear any grinding or squealing, have your pads and linings looked at.
Are you all set for the winter? Do you have any questions about how your car is running? Let us know in the comments section!