The bitter cold we experience here in the Sioux Falls and Tea, SD areas is HARD on us all – even our vehicles!
The cold temperatures affect our cars in a few different ways.
Firstly, the oil in your vehicle thickens in the cold. The thicker oil means it doesn’t move as easily, which makes it less effective at doing its job – which, among other things, is to lubricate the engine components so they can move properly.
That’s why it’s so important to get regular oil changes before and during the winter. Over time, your vehicle’s oil gets grimy and thick, no matter what time of year. Oil changes remove that thick, grimy oil and replace it with fresh, clean oil that can move freely. If you already have thick oil a cold winter day will make it even thicker, which means it will make it even harder for it to be as effective as it should be.
Secondly, cold weather makes it hard for the battery to provide power to your vehicle. This is why it is sometimes harder to start your vehicle on a cold day. When a car in Sioux Falls has a weak battery, it’s really put to the test in the winter! Our sub-degree weather means it is pretty vital to keep a strong, healthy battery in your vehicle at all times (especially in the winter!) If your vehicle sometimes has a hard time starting, please bring it to J & M Transmission & Auto Service in Tea, SD and we’d be happy to test the battery for you! We’re right off the highway!
Another effect the cold has on vehicles in Sioux Falls is it makes your vehicle less fuel efficient. There are a number of reasons as to why this happens. One of the reasons is that it takes longer for the car to warm up and get to a fuel efficient state. Another reason is that cold air is actually denser than warm air – this produces an aerodynamic drag effect, similar to how having something on top of your vehicle can make your vehicle less aerodynamic/efficient. Another reason for the decrease in fuel efficiency is because the cold weather can reduce tire pressure, which effects your fuel efficiency and means you’re not getting the best bang for your buck per gallon of gas.
It’s still very cold here, but Spring is on its way (come soon, please!) If you need auto repair in Sioux Falls, Tea, or the surrounding area, please give J&M Transmission & Auto Service a call. Our friendly staff and ASE certified technicians are here to help you with any of your vehicle’s needs. We perform everything from oil changes, tire rotations, battery checks and fluid flushes to transmission replacement and major repairs. Stay warm and drive safe!