How Does Cold Weather Affect My Car’s Radiator? | Charlotte NC

The cold weather puts your car under a lot of stress. Firstly, the snow puts excessive strain on the tires. Since the tires struggle to make it through the snow, the suspension also goes through a lot of stress.Similarly, the car’s engine also bears a lot of pressure in severely cold temperatures.

However, the most damage is caused to the cooling system of a car. If the cooling system hasn’t been maintained properly, it can cause a lot of problems in the winter months.  (Do you need a radiator repair or replacement? Contact us at 704-821-3460 for a free estimate.)

Let’s look at the adverse effects of cold weather on a car’s radiator:

Cracks in the Radiator

If the coolant mixture in the radiator is not of the right proportion, the liquid can freeze inside. The cooling system is quite sturdy. However, it is not built to handle ice buildup. If the water freezes inside the radiator, it puts immense strain on the radiator case. When the radiator cracks, it begins leaking water rapidly. This can cause a lot of problems if it happens while travelling over long distances.

Clogged Lines

Similar to the reservoirs in the radiator, the fluid lines can also get clogged due to the ice. The fluid lines are quite delicate and develop leaks. Even if there are no leaks immediately, the lines do weaken over time. It can cause the lines to give way under intense conditions. You may not even experience the failure all winter. However, when the radiator heats up in the summer time, the lines will give way.

Transmission Failure

In automatic transmission vehicles, the transmission cooling lines run through a compartment in the radiator. If the radiator freezes and causes a fluid leak, the transmission fluid and coolant could get mixed. If the fluid runs in the engine cooling lines, it won’t harm the engine. But the coolant in the auto transmission housing can damage the transmission. You will have to change the radiator as well as have the transmission rebuilt completely.

It is best to keep your radiator well maintained. The most important thing is to keep the coolant and water ratio accurate to avoid freezing. During the Charlotte winter months, we have seen very warm temperatures and very cold temperatures. If you are having radiator issues, contact us immediately to avoid larger radiator problems.

You might also be interested in:

Rebuilt Transmissions and Transmission Repair Blog

Top Tips for Preparing Your Car for the Frigid Winter Months

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