AMES, IOWA — No one wants to be outdoors in Iowa right now. Not even our cars.
This weekend central Iowa will see some of the coldest temperatures and wind chills in a long, long time. Weather this cold can cause all sorts of mechanical issues with your car. Automobiles are built to withstand most elements, but there is only so much that the components can take when it is THIS cold for THIS long.
“A lot of the time batteries fail. They lose a lot of power when it gets cold like this,” says Tyler Roelfs with EnTire Car Care in Ames, “We’ve had some coolant leaks which caused several bad things. (For) one: you can lose heat in the vehicle. Also, you could overheat and be stuck on the side of the road in this bitter cold.”
No part of your car absorbs more of the cold than your tires as they drove over the subzero road surface. That cold lowers your tire pressure, and can make a tire that is already low on air go completely flat. Roelfs says the best thing you can do is prepare your car for winter beforehand. If you didn’t do that, he says you have to pay attention to what your car is telling you.
“Pay attention to the lights on the dash. If you have a trouble light, get that checked out,” says Roelfs. He also warns that you should check out your wipers before turning them on. “If you turn them on when they’re frozen, they can rip the blade material off and worse it could damage your wiper transmission and lead to a costly repair.”