Drivers risk massive engine damage from common car heating tricks
With temperatures still near freezing across the country, many drivers are facing problems before they even travel, from warming up the car to dealing with battery problems. Seb Goldin, CEO of RED Driving School, warns drivers about various popular methods of warming up cars in the morning and how it can affect them in the long run.
Goldin told Express.co.uk: “The cold temperatures can affect engine activity.
“Make sure all engine fluids (antifreeze and oil) are checked and in good condition to avoid being affected by cold weather.
“Avoid high revs until the engine has reached operating temperature, as this can damage the engine.”
Some drivers rev the engine in the morning to warm up the car and speed up condensation processes and get rid of frost.
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Mr Goldin went on to say that drivers should have jumper cables to hand in case they need to start the car.
If drivers hear a faint whining sound when they turn the key in the ignition, but the starter motor does not turn, they likely have a flat battery.
If the battery is completely discharged, or the battery cables have come loose, they may not hear anything.
Additional signs of a completely flat battery include the ignition lights on the dashboard not coming on and the car refusing to unlock via remote central locking.
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Cold temperatures affect the chemical process that produces and stores electricity inside the battery, slowing the battery’s speed and reducing its ability to hold a charge.
If they use the car regularly for short trips, it may be worth charging the battery at least once a week during the winter months, especially if it is more than three years old.
Older, weaker batteries will typically have reduced performance and cold temperatures can reduce this further, to the point where the battery will discharge or die very quickly.
Drivers can also help preserve battery life by turning everything off before turning off the engine at the end of the journey.
This includes lights, wipers, heater and radio and prevents unnecessary draining of the battery the next time they start it up.
Any corrosion on the battery terminals and cables can limit current, although this can be cleaned with a wire brush.
Goldin continued, saying: “Mud and leaves can block important drainage holes and trap moisture in the unseen parts of your car.
“Consider waxing or sealing your car – the mud and harsh weather won’t stick to the surface, meaning the car only needs a rinse.
“Clean the little nooks and crannies on the car, for example at the bottom of the windscreen where debris can collect: they block drainage holes and can lead to leaks inside the car.”