Some people think that their car engine blows in winter; this is a myth. Though, the reason why some cars’ engines blow in winter may be due to improper maintenance. Car owners must know what causes it. If they do not, then continuing to drive with an engine that blows can lead to further damage or even full-blown engine failure.
Engines are meant for optimum performance at certain temperatures. This means that when the outside temperature is too high or too low, below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 Celsius) and above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius), the engine does not operate as efficiently as it usually would under normal climate conditions. When this happens, there are several components within vehicle’s engine system that behaves differently than they would under normal conditions.
This is the reason why some engines blow, or shut down, in winter time:
When an engine coolant heats up above a certain temperature (usually around the boiling point of water at 212 degrees Fahrenheit), vapor bubbles start to form inside it. When enough bubbles are formed, they eventually merge together and cause what is called “engine knock”. The knocking sound can be heard coming from within the engine’s cylinders when it occurs. As time goes by, older cars’ engine may experience accelerated damage due to the knocks that come with vapor bubbles formation in liquid coolant .
The heat absorbed during combustion only makes matters worse by cracking alloys present in pistons and cylinder liners which results in micro-fractures. These fractures in turn reduces the engine’s structural integrity which leads to early engine failure in many cases when subjected to high pressures and temperatures.
The best way for a car owner to prevent their engine from blowing up in winter is by keeping it well-maintained at all times before exposing it to harsh weather conditions.
Checking the coolant level regularly, replacing worn parts, draining water from the radiator when needed, flushing out impurities (usually done at least once a year), cleaning fuel injectors and throttle body thoroughly (use a cleaner that is safe for modern catalytic converters) are some of the things car owners can do themselves without having to take their cars into the shop every time. This will in turn save them money in the long run.
What can you do to keep your engine from blowing up in winter? Follow these tips:
1) Keeping the car’s engine oil at its recommended level will help boost its lubrication capacity, thus preventing any unnecessary wear and tear on the engine by keeping various engine parts properly oiled. This is essential as too much or too little oil within a running engine will make it vulnerable to damage. However, be sure to check first if there are signs of leakage before doing so as leaking fluids must always be replaced with fresh ones immediately because this could cause further problems down the road.
2) Several misfortunes can arise from leaving your car idle for a long period of time without driving it. Make use of a quality fuel stabilizer to prevent the chemical makeup of fuel from deteriorating while keeping the ethanol content down to a minimum. Also, storing a car or driving it at least once every month will help maintain its operating condition and keep some parts from rusting. Remember not to leave your car engine on for too long before turning it off as running engines put extra pressure on internal components which could damage them over time when left idling more than necessary.
3) Car battery is just one of many parts that need more care during winter months because cold weather contributes less power output across electrical systems in general. To make sure that the battery has enough juice needed to start vehicle’s combustion engine, check its water level regularly which can be done by simply removing the battery’s uppermost battery holder. Use distilled water to fill it back up because this type of water is free from impurities that may end up clogging the pores in the electrodes present in car batteries over time.
4) Modern engines are fuel injected which means that combustion chambers receive pressurized injections of atomized fuel through intake manifold pipes, thus increasing its power output during operation.
However, carbon deposits will start to form after engine has been running for some time and this makes it harder for fuel injectors to spray fuel inside combustion chamber due to obstruction caused by these residues. This could result in severe damage if not attended immediately which calls for regular vehicle maintenance or professional help when needed.
5) For diesel-powered vehicles, check and replace its glow plugs if they aren’t glowing when the engine is cranked and no pressure is felt within the fuel system (indicating that there’s no fuel in the lines).
Glow plugs warm up to make it easier for engines to start in cold weather conditions. Again, these parts could wear out over time which means that you’ll have to spend money replacing them later on.
6) Vehicles such as trucks and vans should always be kept at full load even when not traveling because this will help keep frame from rusting when exposed to harsh winter elements for long periods of time.
7) Loose straps and brackets tend to break after a while because of constant vibrations caused by driving so flapping around doors panels can lead to serious damage if not properly dealt with.
Tying down flaps and re-tightening loose bolts will help keep sensitive parts from breaking thus saving you money in the long run because it will allow you to avoid taking your vehicle into the shop prematurely.
Also, make sure that doors locks are working properly as a malfunctioning lock could let thieves easily break into a car during winter time when vehicles are left unattended mostly.
8) Headlights should be cleaned regularly as dirt may have accumulated on its lenses over time which could prevent them from dispersing light well thus making driving at night more dangerous than necessary.
Wiping these lenses with microfiber cloth along with replacing headlight’s bulbs once they stop emitting bright light will improve visibility for both yourself and other motorists which will result in a safer driving experience.
9) Tires should be checked to see if there’s a flat spot big enough for a penny to be inserted into it as this signalizes that your tires are worn out and need replacement. The best way to check tire pressure is by using an air gauge because not all tires have the same pressure requirement, thus letting you know whether or not proper levels of air has been maintained inside these rubber parts.
10) If you rarely use winter-specific wiper blades on your vehicle, make sure they’re always available so it doesn’t become difficult wiping off snow from windshield when needed. Also, replace them once rubber starts wearing out as this could allow ice and/or snow to accumulate the surface of your windshield which is dangerous because wiper blade rubber isn’t designed to deal with this type of debris.
Hire an expert or do it yourself, but make sure you take care of the matter as soon as possible so your engine doesn’t have to work twice as hard during cold days.