4 Common Problems With Cars in the Cold (Solved & Explained)

Winter is coming and with it the inevitable problems with cars. This blog post will cover some of the most common car problems in cold weather and how to solve them.

What are the four most common problems with cars in the cold?

The four most common problems with cars in the cold are a car door that will not latch, a transmission that slips, a transmission that shifts hard, and a grinding noise when starting the car. These problems can all be fixed, but they can also lead to serious issues if not taken care of immediately.

Keep reading to find out how to fix the four most common problems with cars in the cold.

Car Won’t Latch When Cold

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car in snow - Common Problems With Cars in the Cold
I made this image – Common Problems With Cars in the Cold

A car door that won’t latch properly can be frustrating and dangerous.

If your car door doesn’t latch when it’s cold, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem.

A frozen door latch is one common cause of a car door not latching when it’s cold. You can try heating the door latch with a hair dryer or running hot water over it to fix this.

You can also use a can of compressed air to blow warm air into the door latch.

If the door latch is not frozen, the problem could be a faulty door lock actuator. This is a common problem in cold weather, as the actuator can become frozen and fail to work properly.

You can try thawing out the actuator with a hair dryer or running hot water over it to fix this.

If the actuator is still not working, you may need to replace it.

Another possible cause of a car door not latching correctly is a broken door handle. This can happen if the door handle is made of plastic and breaks in cold weather.

You can try heating the door handle with a hair dryer or running hot water over it to fix this.

If the door handle is still not working, you may need to replace it.

If your car door still doesn’t latch when it’s cold, the problem could be a more serious issue, such as a faulty door latch assembly. In this case, you will need to have the door latch assembly replaced by a professional.

Transmission Slips When Cold

One of the most common problems that people experience with their cars during cold weather is transmission slipping.

This can be very frustrating, making your car feel like it is not running properly.

There are a few things that you can do to try and fix this problem, but it is important to understand what causes it before you can properly address the issue.

One of the main reasons that transmissions slip during cold weather is the fluid that helps lubricate and cool the transmission system freezes.

This can happen when the car is left outside in very cold temperatures for an extended period of time or if there is a leak in the system that allows fluid to escape. In either case, the result is the same- the transmission does not have the proper amount of fluid to function properly, and this can cause it to slip.

You will need to add more transmission fluid to the system to fix this problem.

Either topping can do this off the existing fluid level or by completely replacing the fluid. If you are topping off the fluid, be sure to use the same fluid already in the system.

Using a different type of fluid can cause further damage to the transmission.

If your transmission is slipping due to a lack of fluid, it is also important to check for leaks in the system. Leaks can occur anywhere in the system, but they are most common in the lines and hoses that connect the different components of the transmission.

If you find a leak, it is important to have it repaired as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the system.

Transmission slipping can be a very frustrating problem, but it is important to remember that it is often caused by something that can be easily fixed.

By adding more fluid to the system or repairing any leaks, you should be able to get your car back to running smoothly in no time.

Transmission Shifts Hard When Cold

Car transmission shifts hard in cold weather can be caused by a variety of things.

The most common cause is simply low transmission fluid levels. When the fluid is low, it can’t properly lubricate the moving parts inside the transmission, causing them to wear down and eventually fail.

Another common cause is a dirty or clogged transmission filter.

This can cause the same problems as low fluid levels, as the filter prevents the proper flow of fluid to the transmission.

Finally, a transmission that has not been properly serviced or maintained is also more likely to experience hard shifting.

This is because the various parts inside the transmission can become worn down and fail over time if they are not properly lubricated and serviced.

If your car is experiencing hard shifting, the first thing you should do is look at the transmission fluid level.

If the fluid level looks a little low, pour in some additional transmission fluid until it reaches the proper level.

You should also check the condition of the transmission filter and replace it if it is dirty or clogged. If these measures don’t solve the problem, a professional will likely need to service the transmission.

This will involve disassembling the transmission and inspecting all internal parts for wear or damage.

Any damaged parts will need to be replaced before the transmission can be reassembled and returned to service.

The best way to fix this problem is to have the transmission fluid flushed and replaced. This will help to ensure that the transmission shifts smoothly and correctly.

Grinding Noise When Starting Car Cold

When cold weather hits, many car owners notice a change in their car’s performance.

One common issue is a grinding noise when starting the car. Several things can cause this, but the most common culprit is the starter motor.

The starter motor is responsible for turning over the engine when you start your car.

When it gets cold, the starter motor can freeze up. This can cause a grinding noise when you try to start your car.

There are a few ways to fix this problem.

The first is to let the car warm up for a few minutes before starting. This will allow the starter motor to thaw and eliminate the grinding noise.

Another option is to use starting fluid.

This is a liquid that you spray into the engine before starting it. Starting fluid will help lubricate the starter motor and reduce the grinding noise.

If neither of these options works, then you may need to replace the starter motor.

This is a relatively easy repair and can be done by most do-it-yourselfers. However, if you’re uncomfortable with making this repair, it’s best to take your car to a mechanic.

Here is a good video about how to fix a grinding noise when starting a car cold:

YouTube video by Go Tech – Common Problems with cars in the cold

Other Common Problems With Cars in the Cold

Other issues you might encounter are a dead battery and frozen spark plugs.

A cold battery is a common problem in colder weather, and it can be frustrating to be stranded with a dead car. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to fix a cold battery.

First, try using a battery blanket or charger to warm up the battery.

If that doesn’t work, you may need to replace the battery. If you’re not comfortable doing that yourself, take it to a mechanic or auto shop. Cold batteries are a pain, but with a little effort, you should be able to get your car up and running again.

In cold weather, your car’s spark plugs might fail.

If this happens, the engine will misfire and the car will run rough. You might also notice a decrease in fuel economy.

To fix this, you’ll need to replace the spark plugs.

This is a relatively simple process, but it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Once the new plugs are in place, start the engine and let it idle for a few minutes.

This will give the plugs time to warm up and seat properly.

Final Thoughts: Common Problems With Cars in the Cold

Winter is a tough time for cars.

Between the cold weather and the extra wear and tear, it’s no wonder that so many people have problems with their vehicles in the winter months.

We hope this information helps keep your vehicle running smoothly all winter long!

Before you go, check out a few of our other articles about cars and cold weather. We think you’ll like them, too.

Related posts:


The University of Michigan (Information on cars and cold weather)

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