This December we are getting a lot of engine enquiries at our garage workshop pictured below and we believe this to be mainly due to the cold weather conditions.
Because it is cold with tempertures dropping well below freezing this can cause engine components to work less efficiently.
The oil in the engine is also going to be much thicker due to the cold conditions. Thicker oil means that your engine is going to be working much harder to operate, yes the engine will warm up and heat the oil but the engine in cold weather conditions takes much longer to heat up. Longer times for the engine to warm up means on shorter trips you are going to be driving with a cold engine.
A good tip for you then. Before you set off on short trips it is a good idea to warm your cars engine for 10 minutes first so that you get a head start getting your engine up to temperature. The quicker your engine is up to operating temperature the more efficiently it will work leading to less problems in the future.
Another good reason to warm the car up before heading out in cold weather conditions is it will help with fuel efficiency when out on the road. Modern day cars are being kitted out with all kinds of new features such as heated seats, DVD faciltiies in the back and other electrical components.
Electrical faciltiies in cars need to be powered by the battery which puts stress on the vehicles alternator. A cold engine will not work as efficiently leading to alternator difficiency and the vehicle will burn more fuel to charge the battery that needs to produce electric, the more fuel you use the more it is going to cost you to top up.
So, dont end up with a flat battery warm the car up before setting off on your travels. This will help the vehicle in the long term as well as save the life of the alternator and any costly alternator replacements.
Here are photos of a new alternator and an alternator that blew up because it was overworked during cold weather conditions in the winter.
Believe it or not in the winter the cold air is much thicker than that in the summer. This increases the drag on the vehicle when out on the motorway doing 70mph, basically, the aerodynamics on your vehicle work less efficiently than they do in the summer, this leads to the engine working much harder again adding to engine component stresses and more fuel being burned. There is not much you can do about the cold air but warming the vehicle up before heading out can make all the difference in relieving stress on the engine.
In cold temperatures the tyres on your vehicle also deflate slightly, with tyre pressure’s going down then your vehicle is going to work harder as it is getting more grip, more grip means more stress on the engine leading to possible problems. So another tip here is always check the tyre pressures in the winter and make sure they are inflated to the correct pressure, this will help the engine and also the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.
Contact A1 Diagnostics
Get in touch today for expert advice or to book your vehicle in for an appointment we are happy to help you with any queries.
A1-Diagnostics and ECU Repairs
64 Sloper Road
Tel: (029 20) 220380
Fax: (029 20) 223172
Mon – Fri: 9:00am – 6:00pm