Used car side mirror and window covered in ice

How cold is too cold for your used vehicle?

Temperatures where your vehicle’s performance can diminish 

Because of the tremendous amount of fun that the Grand Junction area provides in the winter, be it skiing, sledding, snowboarding or pond hockey, there’s no doubt that you’ll want to get out and start adventuring while the ground is still white. However, there are still hazards that lie beyond the beauty, and there are temperatures where your vehicle’s performance can diminish if they dip below. We’ll show you them today so you can be prepared!  

At what temperature does oil start becoming thicker? 

It’s not a reach to say that your oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle, as we depend on it to keep gears lubricated and engines running in proper order. As cold weather approaches, your oil becomes more viscous, making it harder to circulate through your drivetrain and easier to build up as nasty sludge inside. We’ve made a chart showing you at which temperatures your specific oil type can start to lose its edge:  

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Tire driving through deep snow with tread marks visible

When do tires start losing their effectiveness in cold weather? 

We’re sure that in the past, you’ve been unpleasantly greeted by a flat tire as you’re trying to head out in the cold. As it turns out, freezing temperatures can have some serious side effects to your rubber. You’ll start to see your elasticity weaken at around 45 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can expect to lose around a pound of air pressure for every 10 degrees drop afterward. Due to this, it’s important to always stay filled up! 

Man pouring windshield washer fluid in vehicle in the cold

When do fluids start freezing and batteries become less effective?  

Of course, you’ll also have to be wary of other fluids in your vehicle freezing over. Washer fluid is mostly safe given the type of mixture you have inside, but under –20 degrees, you might see some freezing. The same goes for coolant, which can start to become a problem at –36 degrees. Batteries are prone to losing half of their power at around 0 degrees, so if you haven’t already, make sure to replace them soon! 

Read More: Guaranteed Auto Protection at Carville’s Auto Mart