What Happens When You Neglect Winter Vehicle Maintenance

What Happens When You Neglect Winter Vehicle Maintenance

It has already been a long winter in the foothills of North Carolina. We typically see about nine inches of snow annually, but there is a lot of variation from year-to-year. Freezing rain and sleet often cause more problems for drivers than snow. Four people in Elkin, it is not uncommon to travel to the mountains for business or recreation. We are a little over an hour from the best ski resorts in North Carolina. Even if we are not experiencing adverse weather at home, you may encounter frozen precipitation in the higher elevations.

Wherever you are driving this winter, vehicle maintenance is vital to making sure you stay on the road. This is not the season to find yourself stranded. From oil changes to washing your car, here is what you can expect if you do not practice proper vehicle maintenance this winter.


What Happens When You Do Not Maintain Your Vehicle During Winter

1. What happens when you do not wash your car?

It is natural to think about washing our cars when the weather is nice, and we are cruising around town. We want to show off our vehicle’s paint job and make sure it is shining bright during the spring and summer. However, during winter, car washing may seem futile. It is just going to get dirty and gross again, right? However, it’s not just grime and dirt, but the salt and brine used to treat the roads can build up on your vehicle’s body and undercarriage. If you do not frequently wash your car during winter, that salt can lead to rust. Driving in the rain is not enough to clean off all the grime. Make sure you are washing your car and undercarriage frequently during winter. 

2. What happens when you do not change your oil?

Oil lubricates the multiple moving parts in your engine. Your engine oil should be changed at least every 5,000 miles. With an older vehicle, you may need to change it closer to every 3,000 miles. If your oil is allowed to age, it loses its effectiveness, and the friction in your engine can cause parts to break. Furthermore, it can lead to a total engine failure. Winter is the wrong time to be dealing with a blown engine. Make sure you do not neglect oil changes during winter

3. What happens when you do not replace your tires?

Your tires are the only component of your car that touches the road. When water, snow, or ice cover the blacktop, you need your tires to be in excellent condition. Bald tires will impact your ability to steer, stop, climb hills, and stay out of the ditch. If you do not replace your worn tires, you can expect to end up seeing your vehicle on a tow truck. 

4. What happens when you neglect your brakes?

You expect your car to be ready to go whenever you need it. When you hit the brake pedal, you expect to be able to stop. If your brakes are losing their stopping power, it is dangerous regardless of the season. However, in the winter, without brakes, you can end up in an accident. Brake pads, rotors, and lines are as important to your vehicle safety as any other component. If you neglect their maintenance, your vehicle is a hazard to you and other drivers. 

5. What happens when you ignore your squeaky shocks and worn suspension?

Squeaky shocks may make you want to turn up the volume on the radio; however, ignoring worn out suspension parts can lead to all sorts of problems. Bad shocks, struts, and axles will cause your vehicle to vibrate or pull to one side of the road or the other. Worn suspension combined with a little snow and ice can make your car’s handling impossible. Make sure you are not neglecting your suspension this winter.

While there are certainly some bad things that can happen when we do not practice proper vehicle maintenance during winter, the good news is you have help. The experts at Jody’s Automotive are here to make sure you do not have to suffer the woes of improper vehicle maintenance. If you are due for an oil change, new tires, suspension repairs, or other maintenance, give us a call or bring your car to us today.