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Common Winter Car Problems and How to Fix or Avoid Them

By on December 27, 2016


There are lots to love about winter and there are lots to hate: cars covered in snow, people stranded in unlikely places, and vehicles skidding everywhere. We’ve listed down the most common car-related problems reported during this season and how they can be avoided or resolved. You can probably relate to some or all of the scenarios below:


Most tires lose 1 pound per square inch (psi) for every 10 F of temperature drop. If the tire pressure becomes too low, you could be risking a flat tire or even a dangerous blowout.


How to avoid/resolve it:

  • Check your tire pressure with a gauge (you can check out some tire gauges on right here). Make sure that the pressure is following your car manual’s recommendation.
  • Perform the “Lincoln Test” – insert a penny into your tire’s tread with the top of Lincoln’s head pointing inward toward the tire. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, you need to replace the tire ASAP.


  • Consider putting on winter tires for easy navigation during the season.



– This can definitely be a problem if you have an open ceiling or no garage at all.



How to avoid/resolve it:

  • To prevent the ice from forming on your windows, you can cover them with plastic bags and secure them using clothes pins. When you remove the plastic bag, that should also take care of the ice. You can also use undiluted white vinegar or a raw onion to prevent any frost build-up!
  • For your wipers, soak a clean & soft cloth in full-strength rubbing alcohol. This should stop it from sticking to the windshield. It’s a great alternative to winter windshield wiper fluid.
  • To prevent your car door locks from freezing, wipe some Vaseline on them. In case they’re already frozen, use a drinking straw to melt the ice lodged inside. Your warm breath is the key. If that doesn’t work, you can slightly warm or heat your key, push it into the lock and apply a gentle pressure to melt the ice. Last resort? Hair dryer!



Cold temperatures can affect your car’s battery. It works harder to start the car because its capacity is reduced in below-freezing weather.


How to avoid/resolve it:

  • Before winter begins, make sure to have a quick visit to a repair shop to have your car battery checked.
  • Keep a portable jump box in case of emergency.
  • A typical battery can last an average 3 years and usually can handle the cold. However, extreme cold temperatures pull voltage from a battery, which makes it harder to start the car. If your battery life is beyond the recommended, seriously consider getting a new one.

Let us know if you’ve experienced other winter-related problems with your car. We’d also like to know how you fixed it if you did, or just how you survived the unfortunate event. We can’t wait to hear your stories. Stay warm everyone!

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