It’s officially winter next month and that means colder freezing temperatures, rain, and maybe even snow. And just like the summer season can affect how your car runs, cold weather can do the same. As we enter the coldest months of the year it’s important to be aware of exactly how cold weather can affect your car so you can assess issues before they become major problems. Cold weather can affect your tires, windshield wipers, and more! It can even cut the range on electric vehicles!

Let’s explore how cold weather can affect your car.

How Cold Weather can Affect Your Car

Tires issues

When the weather outside changes so much throughout the day and into the night it can have a significant impact on your tire inflation. That’s why it’s critical that you get your tire pressure checked regularly as the weather begins to turn. You can either purchase a tire pressure gauge at your local auto parts store, check it at the gas station or car wash, or have our team at Courtesy Auto check it for you. 

Under inflated tires can be an issue for several reasons. Because under inflated tires have less traction to the ground, you’ll be more susceptible to sliding in wet conditions. Perpetual issues with your tires can even affect your suspension and can cause serious damage if not addressed quickly. 


In addition to issues with your tires, cold weather can wreck havoc on your fluids. As it gets colder, your car’s fluids can start to thicken. While this seems like a minor thing, too much change in the consistency of your vehicle’s fluids can cause system-wide issues. Oil is particularly an issue, as too much change in its consistency can leave you with permanent engine problems. Synthetic oils, which are widely available, are better at not thickening than low-viscosity oil.

Car battery issues

Once the temperature falls below freezing the likelihood for battery issues goes up significantly. Cold weather can sap energy from your battery. If you battery dies, your engine won’t be able to turn over and you won’t be gong anywhere. Another reason why winter affects car batteries could be because during the winter they get more use. We use headlights, wipers, and other features much more often during the winter months.

A good way to prevent this from happening is to make sure to run your car for a few minutes every day, even if you’re not planning on leaving the house. This gives your battery the chance to engage and lets your engine idle for a few minutes. 

Freezing fuel lines

Another possible way cold weather can affect your car is through frozen fuel lines. Water vapor and condensation that is caught in your fuel lines can freeze once temperatures hit freezing. When coupled with low fuel levels, this can cause a clog in the fuel pickup system. This is why it’s a good idea to never let your car dip under a quarter tank, especially in the winter.

Wiper blades

Here in the PNW, good visibility it vital to staying safe on the roads. If it’s below freezing and your windshield is damp, its completely possible for your wiper blades to freeze! This can cause a huge headache for your morning commute and can be dangerous. 

If your wiper blades are older, consider replacing them. 

If you’re having any of the above issues, we hope you stop by Courtesy Auto and Tire Repair of Tacoma. Our trained team of professionals can help winterize your car and keep you safe on the roads. For more information on how cold weather can affect your car and other tips, read more from our blog.