As the winter chill sets in across Kamloops, BC, drivers must brace themselves for the trials that their vehicles will face. The plummeting temperatures and harsh conditions can give rise to a number of common vehicle problems. This listicle is designed to assist Kamloops winter drivers in identifying these typical winter woes and provide handy tips to prevent and tackle them effectively.

1. Dead Battery

Explanation: The biting cold can greatly diminish battery power because of slowed chemical reactions inside the battery.
  • Keep your battery terminals clean from corrosion.
  • Consider a battery blanket or engine block heater for extra warmth.
  • Test your battery before winter hits its peak.

2. Frozen Fuel Lines

Causes: Water vapor in your fuel line can freeze, blocking the flow of gasoline to the engine.
  • Maintain a half-full gas tank to reduce condensation.
  • Use antifreeze additives specifically for fuel lines.

3. Tire Pressure Loss

Explanation: For every 10°F drop in temperature, tire pressure decreases by about 1 psi.
Maintenance Tips:
  • Regularly check tire pressure with an accurate gauge.
  • Inflate tires to the recommended level for winter conditions.

4. Engine Misfires

Reasons: Colder weather can thicken motor oil and strain the engine’s spark system.
  • Use winter-grade oil with lower viscosity.
  • Ensure spark plugs are in good condition and replace if worn.

5. Frozen Locks and Door Handles

Common Issues: Moisture in locks or door mechanisms can freeze, preventing entry.
  • Lubricate locks with WD-40 or graphite-based products.
  • Cover locks with magnetic protectors to keep them dry.

6. Reduced Visibility

Challenges: Snow, fog, and road splash can hinder visibility.
Maintenance Tips:
  • Replace wipers if they’re streaking or missing patches.
  • Use cold weather washer fluid.
  • Ensure headlights and taillights are clean and fully functional.

7. Sluggish Heating System

Causes: Low coolant levels or a malfunctioning thermostat can impede heating.
  • Check coolant levels regularly.
  • Have your thermostat inspected and replaced if needed.

8. Icy Windshield and Wipers

  • Park facing east for a natural defrost from the rising sun.
  • Lift wiper blades overnight to prevent sticking to the windshield.
Removal Techniques:
  • Use de-icing spray or a proper ice scraper, never hot water.

9. Slippery Traction and Braking Issues

Causes: Icy roads reduce tire grip and braking responsiveness.
Improvement Tips:
  • Consider snow tires or chains for better traction.
  • Go easy on the brakes to prevent skidding, especially on ice.

10. Salt and De-icer Damage

Potential Damage: Road salt can cause rust and corrosion on the undercarriage and body of the vehicle.
  • Wash your car frequently, focusing on the underside.
  • Apply rust-proofing sealant to key areas.
Navigating a Kamloops winter requires cars and drivers to be in their best condition. By understanding these common problems and adhering to regular maintenance, winter drivers can sustain their vehicles’ performance and extend their lifespan. Prioritize safety, be prepared, and whenever in doubt, consult with your local mechanic to ensure a smooth and reliable journey throughout the cold season. Call us when you need help with any of these auto maintenance services, and happy winter driving!
Call Advance Auto Service for car and truck repairs in Kamloops BC. We are a Uni-Pro Full-Service Auto Care Centre. Interested in working with us? Check out our CAREERS page.
From the team at Advance Auto Service in Kamloops