If you park on the street or in your driveway, your car likely gets buried during winter snowstorms. To make the situation worse, snowplows tend to pack down the snow when doing their rounds.
Even when the weather outside is frightful and the snow is piled high, it’s important to clean your car off. Here are five reasons why you should shovel out your car after the next big storm.
1. DRAINED JUICE
When cars sit for extended periods of time, the battery can drain of its charge. If your vehicle’s battery is older, it’s even more likely that it won’t have the amps left to turn the engine over. You can generally jump-start your car once it’s cleared and let the engine charge the battery back up, but older batteries may need to be charged more slowly or replaced entirely.
2. PROBLEMS WITH PACKED SNOW
The longer you wait to clear snow off your car, the more compacted the snow will become. Even after you’ve dug out your car, make sure the exhaust pipe and engine bay are clear of snow before starting it up. A blocked exhaust pipe can force deadly carbon monoxide inside the vehicle, and ice in the engine could damage the moving parts or cause a belt to skip off. Finally, snow and ice that’s packed in your wheels can throw off their balance and cause a rough ride and impaired handling.
3. COSTLY BODYWORK
While the weight of the snow is unlikely to crush your vehicle, it can still cause damage to the body if left uncleared. Salt and other chemicals used on the roads can seep into the snow and corrode the finish and paint on your car. If there are already unpainted areas due to half-repaired damage, scrapes, or dents, these chemicals will make short work of your vehicle’s bare metal and cause it to rust very quickly.
4. BRAKE DAMAGE
You may not realize it, but there are a lot of moving parts in the braking system of your vehicle. Brakes are hydraulically powered, so there has to be a tight seal on the brake fluid that passes through the calipers and pushes on the brake pads. Snow left in the brakes can damage seals and pads, causing brake fluids to leak. Further, leaving your vehicle buried in snow can cause the surface of your brakes to rust, which will cause screeching and squealing when you drive.
5. INJURY PREVENTION
This reason doesn’t relate to the condition of your vehicle, but it’s equally important. Snow left on your car will gradually melt, and the water will soak deeper into the pile. By the time it reaches your car, it can freeze as hard as cement. Not only will the snow and ice on top of your vehicle become more difficult to remove, but it’ll also get quite heavy, increasing the likelihood of you sustaining a back or arm injury while clearing it.
Clearing snow off your vehicle, especially after a big storm, may seem like an onerous task, but it’s essential to keeping your vehicle in good condition. Snow and ice can cause physical damage to your vehicle’s components, and road-clearing chemicals can eat away at the paint.