When it’s cold and frosty outside, the chances of breaking down are a lot higher than during the summer months. Colder conditions can exacerbate underlying mechanical problems with your vehicle that you may not have picked up on before and can potentially cause breakdowns. 

In this blog, we’ll run through everything you need to know about winter car breakdowns including how to prevent them and what some of the main causes are.

Why Your Car May Struggle To Start During Winter

There are many reasons as to why your car may struggle to start during the winter months, from December right through into March sometimes. One of the biggest problems you may face with winter car breakdowns is engine light errors, for example, your battery alerts. 

When colder weather starts to affect the chemical process inside your car battery, it can make it a lot harder for your car to start. 

The most common winter car breakdowns are caused by:

  • Engine light errors
  • Damaged tyres and wheels
  • Incorrect level of oil
  • Battery related problems 
  • Locks and alarms 

For more information about the top 5 most common breakdown causes across all seasons, take a look at our previous blog here.


Things To Look Out For

If you’re worried about breaking down during the winter months, there are a couple of things you can look out for to prevent this from happening. Here are 3 things to look out for…


When road grip is usually at its lowest during winter, it is important to check your brakes. If your vehicle is making any unusual noises, pulls to one side or has spongy brake pedals, it can suggest that there is a problem with your braking system. This is best to get checked out by a professional. 


If your car regularly has condensation, constant freezing or thawing, it is definitely something that needs to be checked out. If the seals in your car are damaged and water gets into your electrics, it could create more problems such as engine misfires and faulty electric windows. 

Flaring Engine Revs

Flaring engine revs typically suggest that your vehicle’s clutch may need to be replaced as it could be slipping and dropping in and out of gear. This is again something that should be checked out by a professional to avoid your car from breaking down. 

Pack An Emergency Supplies Box

In the event that you do breakdown, it is always useful to have an emergency supplies box in your car. We would recommend adding the following into your emergency box:

  • Blankets
  • A mobile phone charger or power bank
  • Torch
  • De-icer or ice scraper
  • First aid kit
  • Snacks and water


Finding A Breakdown Company Near You

Sometimes breakdowns are inevitable and they can just happen. We’re a nationwide rescue and recovery company who offers reliable breakdown services across the whole of the UK. Our friendly team can help you no matter where you are and ensure you get to a safe destination. Call now on 0870 600 3444 for professional vehicle breakdown services.