Watch out for these signs of car distress during extreme cold weather

The battery, belts and hoses can get damaged while it’s cold out

SAN ANTONIO – Winter cold is moving into San Antonio, and it can cause many issues for your vehicle.

AAA Texas said the cold temperatures can kill your car battery, deflate the tires and cause damage to the belts and hoses.


Daniel Armbruster, spokesperson for AAA Texas, said batteries over three years old are more likely to die when it gets cold out.

The cold temperatures “can cause the fluid inside (the battery) to thicken, and then, of course, it’s harder for the battery to turn over to run your vehicle,” Armbruster said.

You can tell if your battery is close to going out if your car doesn’t start immediately, makes clicking noises when trying to start it or your lights are dim.

To keep your battery alive, ensure all lights are off when you’re not using your car, and clean any corrosion on your battery.


When it comes to our tires, it’s best to check your air pressure before driving.

If you notice your air pressure dipping, fill your tires to avoid any potential flats.

“You want to make sure you have good, well-inflated tires that are healthy to operate on the road,” Armbruster said.

Belts and Hoses:

Just like you should be checking your battery and tire pressure, looking at the belts and hoses under your hood is also recommended.

Long periods of cold can cause these to crack and damage, especially if your car is older.

AAA also wants to remind people that warming up your car before you drive can be dangerous if you aren’t paying attention.

“We do tend to see theft of vehicles left running with, you know, the fumes coming out the back and no one around. That’s a great opportunity for a thief to steal your vehicle,” said Armbruster.

Armbruster says never to heat your car inside an enclosed area. Carbon monoxide can be deadly and fill your garage and home if you try to warm up your car with your garage door down.

FORECAST UPDATE: Arctic front is ahead of schedule, now set to arrive Sunday

About the Author

Halee Powers is a KSAT producer primarily focused on digital newscasts and events.

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