Think Spring- Repairing Your Auto After The The Deep Freeze Of Winter

Posted on: 6 January 2016


Winter's chill can cause direct damage to your auto, along with indirect damage from chemicals used to keep the roads passable in spite of snow and ice accumulation.

As winter begins to loosen its icy grip, dreams of road trips begin to take shape. Auto repair in spring will usually involve correcting the ravages of winter in order to hit the open road and emerge once again into the light and warmth of spring.

Common auto repair issues caused by winter weather


The cold of a Canadian winter can kill even a relatively new battery. Corrosion can form around the terminals because of lingering wet conditions brought about by lingering snow and ice.

Check your battery for corrosion by removing the battery cable clamps from the two terminals. You will need an adjustable wrench to loosen the nut on each clamp, and will usually need to wiggle the clamps back and forth while lifting it from the terminals.

Clean any corrosion, which resembles a white powder, with a piece of white sandpaper or a emery board. Clean the inside of the cable clamps as well.

You may choose to take your battery to an auto part store to have it checked for charging capability. There is usually no charge for a battery check.

Air filters

Your vehicle has two air filters. The cabin air filter cleans the air that you breathe, while the engine air filter cleans the air that your engine needs for fuel combustion.

Both filters can become clogged and inefficient from accumulation of road salt dust from treatment of icy roads. Your engine's air filter is easier to access. It sits in a small rectangular compartment beside the engine.

The top of the compartment is held in place by two clips that can be pulled away to reveal the cartridge filter inside. When you purchase a new engine filter, you must buy one that is specific to the year, make, and model of your vehicle.

The cabin air filter, however, is more difficult to access. It is usually hidden behind the dash, and may be reached by removing the glove box and removing a small rectangular cover plate from a slot that holds the filter. Again, the replacement filter must be vehicle specific.

If you are unsure of your ability, or lack the contortionist skills needed to access the cabin filter compartment, you might consider having it replaced at an auto service center.

If you decide to take your vehicle to an auto repair shop, have the belts and hoses checked for wear. The friction heat from belts and the flow of hot antifreeze in hoses causes belts and hoses to expand, while winter's freeze causes them to contract when not in use. 

This repeated expansion and contractions can cause weaknesses in belts and hoses, leading to eventual failure, often on a lonely road or a busy highway. Have any defective hoses or belts replaced, and if your vehicle is older, you may consider having all of them replaced at once.

While this proactive measure may be more expensive, it can bring piece of mind as you sit in traffic on a hot afternoon or travel along a dark and lonely country road at night. Contact a company like Accurate Transmission & Auto Centre Ltd for more information.