Cold weather can take its toll on your vehicle, especially its brakes. Not only is it hard to brake on a surface that is covered with ice and snow, but just exposing your brakes to cold temperatures is enough to cause problems for them. Now, don’t get confused here because cold temperatures won’t destroy your brakes. This is a mechanical braking system which can tolerate both hot and cold temperatures. However, cold temperatures will speed up the wear and tear of certain vital components of your braking system. This is when braking problems arise.
5 Common Problems
Whether cold temperatures are seasonal or year-round in your geographical location, you should make yourself aware of the specific brake problems that are caused by these temperatures.
Below are the top 5 common car brake problems in cold weather.
1) Worn Brake Discs and Pads – Your brake pads and brake discs will wear out quickly if you’re constantly driving and braking in environments with cold temperatures. It will be even worse if there’s ice or snow on the road because some of it might get onto your braking system. Once your brake pads and/or discs wear out, then you will need to replace them immediately or else you won’t be able to brake properly without them. All the stress of the cold temperatures and slippery roads will cause cracks in your pads.
2) Worn Tires – Your tires may be okay if the roads are still clear, despite the freezing temperatures outside. But if you’re driving on icy or snowy roads, your tires become worn rather quickly. Don’t expect your treads to stay strong for five years. Instead, they will be lucky to last for a few years if you’re constantly traveling on slippery roads. As you know, flat treads on tires cause braking problems that can make driving unsafe.
3) Bad Brake Lines – Brake pads which are cracked will give outside elements easy access to the brake lines. All that cold airborne dirt, snow and ice will come in contact with your brake lines and freeze them up quickly. The lines will either become destroyed themselves and leak brake fluid or they will cause annoying sounds to occur. Either way, you won’t want to live with this for any longer than necessary.
4) Brake Noises – In addition to your brake lines going bad from the cold temperatures, this will also cause braking noises to occur as well. Each time you step on the brake pedal, you will hear some loud squeaking or grinding sounds that will surely annoy you. These noises won’t necessarily be the cause of braking problems, but they are certainly a symptom of one. If you hear brake noises, then this should prompt you to investigate your braking system and see where the damage has occurred.
5) Difficulty Slowing Down – Between the bad brake pads and bad brake lines from the cold weather, your entire ability to slow down will be compromised. When you step on the brake pedal, there will be a delayed reaction before your vehicle actually slows down. This will cause you to step harder on the brake pedal just to slow down a little bit. You obviously don’t want to drive like this for very long because it will make driving very dangerous.
Since you have no control over the cold weather, the best thing you can do is keep up to date with your car maintenance. Have your braking system checked every 6 months to ensure all its components are in good condition. If any of them look to be worn or damaged, replace those components right away.