Top Five Mechanical Problems Cars Experience During Minnesota Winters

Minnesotans are no stranger to harsh winters and deep snows. Even still, there is something that is amazing and mesmerizing about the first flakes of snow falling in the winter. As we have already seen snow this season, this serves as a last-minute reminder to ensure your car’s maintenance is up to date. We, at Clark Automotive in Blaine, have put together the top five issues that we see year after year.

1. Dead batteries. Batteries are more likely to die during the cold winter months. It is a good idea to have the battery levels checked ahead of the season. Also, though the battery may show signs of life, each battery is rated with “cold cranking amps.” This amperage demonstrates how strong the battery is at starting up for the first time during the day and how powerful it is, even facing sub-zero temperatures.
2. Fluids will thicken. In order that you are properly prepared, ahead of time, ensure that you have your fluids checked and topped off prior to the coldest winter months. Fluids, such as engine oil, antifreeze, power steering, brake, and transmission fluid should all be checked consistently throughout the year, but especially before the winter season. Also, because fluids thicken, it is advisable to run your engine for a few minutes prior to being driven. This will warm the engine up and help to thin out the fluids, reducing the risk of leaks.
3. Corrosion is more problematic. Road salt and brine solutions can adhere to the car’s metal components. Failure to wash off will result in layers of corrosion. Particular attention should be given to the car’s undercarriage, the brakes and wheel wells
4. Tire pressure decreases. It is estimated that tires lose approximately 1psi (pound per square inch) for every 10oF that the thermometer drops. When traveling on icy roads, tires that are not properly inflated pose a significant safety risk.
5. Spark plugs fail. Clogged ignition components or a clogged filter can cause an engine not to start. It is wise to have your spark plugs checked at the very least, if not changed prior to the winter months.

Winter Maintenance Available By ASE-Certified Mechanics

If you are in the Blaine area and experience any mechanical issues with your vehicle this winter, bring it to the ASE-certified mechanical team at Clark Automotive. To schedule an appointment in advance, contact (763) 784-7944 or email Available M-F all day, and Sat by appointment.