Cold Weather Car Care

December 28th, 2022 by

Subzero temperatures over the holiday weekend were unwelcome for many Charlestonians. There were plenty of warnings on how to keep your pipes from freezing, but not much about cold weather car care.


Cold temperatures can put stress on various parts of your vehicle. If possible, park your car in a garage when it’s extremely cold. If not, be vigilant about caring for your vehicle.

  • Battery—You do not want to be stranded in the cold with a car that won’t start. Batteries work most efficiently between 30 and 90 degrees. Extreme cold can have an adverse effect on your battery. Kia Country offers a complimentary battery charge test. Upon request, we can also check the alternator, starter, and electrical system. Dirty and corroded battery terminals cause excessive resistance and can lead to premature battery failure. If your battery is serviced, we will clean the terminals and add a protectant to prevent corrosion.
  • Wiper Blades– Ensure your wiper blades are in excellent condition before inclement weather hits. You can check your wiper blades by running two fingers down the rubber strip to feel for cracks or tears and make sure that neither end is pulling away from the blade. If your blades are squeaking across the windshield, you can be certain your wiper blades need to be replaced. Add cold weather windshield washer fluid and use your defroster and an ice scraper before using your wipers to prevent damage.
  • Coolant– Protect your engine by making sure that your coolant system has been appropriately maintained and serviced according to your Owner’s Manual.
  • Tires– Tire tread depth and proper inflation are essential for safe driving. Tires can lose up to 1lb of pressure for every 10 degrees in temperature. Fill your tires to 2 lbs above the recommended level for your car. Be sure to check your tire pressure every two weeks.
  • Fluids—fluids may thicken which can cause your car difficult to start or sluggish. At risk—antifreeze, oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid. Your windshield washer fluid may also freeze. Let your car idle for a few minutes in below-freezing temperatures to warm fluids.

In case you do experience problems, keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. At minimum a flashlight, blanket, snacks, water, gloves, boots, ice scraper/brush, battery charger or jumper cables, first aid kit, rescue tool, and flares.

Kia Country of Charleston is offering Winter Service Specials to help with cold weather car care throughout January and February. If you have any questions, please contact our Service Advisors at 843.573.4995 or [email protected].