Living in the Corpus Christi area means that you’ll rarely deal with extreme winter weather. While during the abnormal February 2021 cold snap, temperatures dropped to a low of 17 degrees Fahrenheit, normally, winter in coastal Texas can range from the high 50s to mid 80s. That means you don’t need to worry too much about what the winter weather does to your car. However, in the event of another extreme weather event or out-of-state travel, it’s worth learning how to protect your vehicle.

Here are the car parts most likely to break in the winter, and how you can avoid the problem:

  • Battery issues: Batteries are affected by both extreme heat and cold. If it looks like the temperature is going to drop, it’s a smart idea to have your battery tested, especially if it’s reaching the end of its lifespan. Whenever possible, park your car inside to avoid battery problems.
  • Wiper blades: Although it probably won’t get cold enough to freeze your wiper blades, this can be a problem in colder climates. The rubber in the wiper blades can freeze and become brittle, making them ineffective in rain or a snowstorm. Luckily, they’re a cheap and easy fix, so don’t hesitate to replace them if you notice a problem.
  • Tire pressure: Your tire pressure depends on the weather, too. Extreme heat can overinflate your tires, while the cold reduces pressure. If there’s a run of 30- to 50-degree temperatures, make sure to test your tires’ air pressure. If it’s not within the recommended range, reinflate as necessary.
  • Fluid problems: Cold weather can also thicken your car’s fluids, including the oil. People living in colder areas often switch their oil to a more viscous winter blend in the chilly months. You probably don’t need to do that if you plan on staying in the Corpus Christi area all winter long, but if you’re traveling to icy or snowy locations, consider refreshing or changing your fluids.
  • Corrosion: Corrosion can occur when you drive over road salts. Again, this is an issue that’s common in much colder areas—but if you’re traveling for the winter holidays, you should be aware. The salt that melts snow and ice can corrode the underside of your car, so make sure to wash it off promptly.
  • Door handles: Finally, your door handles can freeze in particularly cold weather. Freezing weather makes plastics and metal more brittle, so you might yank the handle right off. If that occurs, don’t panic—they can be easily replaced. However, you may want to avoid pulling hard on handles if you’re traveling in the winter.

Now that you know which car parts are most likely to break in the winter, and what the winter weather does to your car, you can take steps to avoid the issue. While most of them won’t be applicable if you’re staying in this warmer climate, it’s always smart to be prepared.

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