Harsh weather conditions during the winter put extra strain on your vehicle, which can cause premature damage that later results in a costly breakdown.
From dead batteries to chipped windshield wipers, our experts have looked at some of the most common repairs at this time of year and put together this list so you can get prepared and avoid running into trouble.
Winter’s traditionally a testing time for the modern driver, and those in the colder parts of the country should prioritize properly maintaining their vehicle. The cost of common car repairs can quickly add up to a few thousand, especially without the proper extended warranty protection.
Top 8 Winter Car Repairs
When initially purchasing a new vehicle, you may have been offered some sort of manufacturer’s warranty to help cover the cost of repairs. If your current plan is expiring soon, you run the risk of paying out-of-pocket for repairs which usually require a few thousand to fix.
To see just how much you can pay in repairs this winter, our experts compiled a list of the top 8 from least expensive to most expensive to provide a better picture. Here are the car repairs you’re most likely to face over the winter.
#1: Worn or Punctured Tires
With more challenging road surfaces—think grit, mud, ice, etc.—to face in winter, your tires are more likely to become worn or get punctures.
The cost of replacing a tire varies depending on your vehicle and the quality of the new tire, but typically you’ll be paying anywhere from $100 per tire.
What to do: Maintain the recommended air pressure in the tires and keep up with the recommended tire rotation schedule to prolong the life of your tires. Getting a tire rotation ensures your tires wear evenly. With Endurance’s newest protection plan, EnduranceAdvantage™, you can save on both tire replacements and up to $35 towards your next tire rotation and tire pressure check.
#2: Flat Batteries
Batteries have to work harder to produce the same power in colder temperatures and this can lead to problems down the road. Batteries of vehicles left in storage, particularly when it’s cold, can also lose their charge. If you find yourself needing a new battery, this can cost up to $175, depending on your car make and model.
What to do: Get the battery checked by your trusted mechanic coming into winter, or get yourself a home tester kit. Is your vehicle currently sheltering in place? Make sure you keep the battery alive by starting the engine every now and then. Battery problems sadly aren’t restricted to winter and extreme heat can actually be more of a risk.
Need a battery replacement? EnduranceAdvantage™ can get you back on the road by covering up to $100 towards the replacement of a failed battery when deterioration is beyond the OEM’s specified tolerances. Request a free, no-obligation quote today to experience revolutionary vehicle protection.
#3: Worn Front Brake Pads
Over winter, with poor visibility and slicker road surfaces, you need your brakes working at their best. If they’re worn, it’ll increase your braking time and put you in a dangerous position. Replacing brake pads can require an estimated cost of $200. Failing to replace them early on can result in having to repair your rotors, which costs more than replacing all four sets of your brake pads.
What to do: Listen out for telltale signs of brake pad wear and check them to see if they’re worn below 3/32 inch. Our experts suggest checking your brakes periodically year-round to avoid a sudden breakdown—or worse, an accident.
#4: Misfiring Spark Plugs
A fully functioning set of spark plugs ensures your engine starts and runs smoothly. Colder temperatures make this more challenging, so you’ll need them working. More common vehicles use hot plugs, while high-performance vehicles use cold plugs to generate more heat in the combustion process.
To remedy misfiring spark plugs, you’re looking to pay around $260 out-of-pocket. Changing your spark plugs can be done at home, but if you’re not comfortable doing so then visiting your local mechanic is recommended.
What to do: If you’re having trouble getting the engine going or experiencing juddering or increased exhaust fumes, you might have a faulty spark plug. Read our guide to changing them in winter.
Problems with spark plugs aren’t always restricted to winter, but this is the time of year you’re most likely to need a change. We recommend checking and replacing them heading into the colder months each year.
#5: Broken Side Mirrors
Winter driving, if nothing else, is characterized by impaired visibility. It’s when you need ALL your mirrors. Side mirrors have a tendency to get snapped off when other motorists can’t see well over winter. It’s a double-edged sword.
Replacing a broken side mirror costs more than you’d expect—you’re looking at anywhere from $300-$325 to fix.
What to do: Push them in when parked and get a replacement immediately if one is broken. Accidents happen all year round and your mirrors can get cracked or torn off by passing vehicles in any month.
#6: Faulty Clutch
Have you noticed a burning smell, a sticky or spongy pedal, or gear slipping? If so, you should take your car to be seen by a professional mechanic. Repairing a faulty clutch can cost around $500 t0 fix, and result in premature damage to other components.
What to do: Performing essential maintenance and getting the proper vehicle protection can reduce the burden of this repair, but our experts also suggest avoiding riding the clutch to prolong its life.
The clutch is very durable, but it does wear over time and will eventually need to be replaced. It isn’t just a problem for winter, but because of the extra strain colder temperatures and more gear changes can put on your car’s components, it is a common problem at this time of year.
#7: Worn or Broken Timing Belt
The rubber belt can become worn from the friction and heat generated by the car’s engine, and it can begin to crack. If it breaks, you’ll know about it, and the big risk is that there’s resultant engine damage that is extremely costly, or not viable, to repair. Similar to repairing a faulty clutch, this winter car repair can cost upwards of $500, not including additional costs such as rental car costs and gas.
What to do: The key is to adhere to the instructions in your owner’s manual about the intervals at which to change the timing belt and make sure its condition is checked as part of your essential routine maintenance.
These problems are common over winter. If the belt is near or past the replacement date and it’s becoming brittle, the extra heat in the hard-working engine in winter can push it to breaking point.
If you’re left stranded because your timing belt fails, make sure you’re not left without cover. With an Endurance extended warranty, you’ll have access to 24/7 roadside assistance, with VIP breakdown benefits.
#8: Chipped or Cracked Windshield
With more loose grit and stones on road surfaces, it’s all too easy over winter for them to fly up and chip your windshield. On top of that, freezing temperatures can make the glass more susceptible to developing cracks from existing chips or temperature shocks, for instance, if you try to clear ice with boiling water.
The cost to replace a cracked or chipped windshield can cost up to $625—a hefty price to pay.
What to do: Use a de-icer and a rubber scraper to remove ice and a soft brush to remove snow. Sadly, there’s not much you can do to mitigate the risk of a chip caused by flying grit. The best thing to do is to make sure you have cover through an extended warranty.
Revolutionary Vehicle Protection with EnduranceAdvantage™
If you run into problems with your car this winter, make sure you have an extended car warranty that will minimize costs and disruption and get you back on the road as soon as possible. The extended car warranty cost is far outweighed by the thousands of dollars you’ll pay in repairs—and now maintenance.
Drive confidently knowing you have the most comprehensive auto protection package on the market. EnduranceAdvantage™ not only saves you thousands on auto repairs but also includes maintenance coverage plus everyday driving perks. With EnduranceAdvantage, you’ll keep money in your pocket and drive worry-free. Save thousands today by requesting a free, no-obligation quote below.