What Winter Roads Can Do to Your Car

The winter season is tough on everyone, and it can definitely present some challenges for your car. It's smart to take a little extra time to let the battery and engine warm up in the morning. You should really check your tire treads and air pressure regularly, as well. Other issues like wheel alignment, suspension and brake problems, and headlight/tail light dimness, and window frost can also cause safety hazards on the road this time of year. 

One thing that often gets overlooked is what cold, wet and icy roads can be doing underneath your vehicle. When you drive on winter roads here in Northern Delaware (especially this very cold winter we're experiencing so far), all sorts of excess moisture, road salt/sand and grease are getting kicked up under your vehicle chassis. Most cars are built to stand up to this abuse—especially newer models—but issues can still occur. It's wise to take a look under your vehicle periodically or take notice of anything that sounds or feels unusual when driving. You may even want to bring it to a professional mechanic for a more thorough inspection.

Let's look at a few of the vehicle systems that can experience trouble because of driving on wet, icy, snowy and/or salted/sanded roads:


Your brakes are doing a lot of extra work in the winter season. You depend on them to keep you safe, even when driving conditions and overall road quality aren't ideal. All the excess gunk coming up from the road can hinder brake performance, along with cold conditions that shrink rotors. A winter brake service and inspection is never a bad idea, especially if you are noticing any braking issues or sounds.


Road moisture and debris—as well as cold conditions—can also cause trouble for your suspension components. You may notice poor handling or an unusually bumpy ride. Poor handling could also be a result of brake issues or wheel/tire issues (including low tire tread or the wrong type of tires). 

Drive Train Components

There are multiple parts and systems working to send the proper power from your engine and transmission out to your wheels (differentials, axles, U-joints and also transfer cases in 4x4/AWD vehicles). Weather road conditions may cause one or more of these parts to slip or work incorrectly. Again, if you notice any strange handling or acceleration issues, you may want to give your undercarriage a good cleaning. If problems persist, then seek the opinion of a knowledgeable local auto shop.

Hopefully, you don't experience any of these problems and your car does just fine this winter season. A proper car wash (including under the vehicle) on a regular basis can help clear away some of the excess grease, salt, sand and grime that may accumulate. It's very common for people to forget or ignore car washes in the winter, but it can be helpful for your vehicle's overall health and performance.

If you are experiencing any automotive issues or just want a general inspection and check-up, call Fox Run Auto today at (302) 597-9205 or schedule your service appointment online.


Car Care Tips
Fox Run Auto Inc. is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Fox Run Auto Inc. (302) 834-1200 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.