Icy conditions can be unnerving for drivers, particularly in older cars that may be a little more susceptible to the elements. In some cases, certain parts may react poorly to negative temperatures, and one that you’ll want to ensure works exactly how it should is the braking system. A major safety feature, unreliable brakes can be incredibly dangerous – read on as Scrap Car Comparison talks you through all you need to know about your pads, discs, callipers and more in the winter.
But first, you may find that your car just won’t make it through the winter no matter how much you prepare for it. In this case, Scrap Car Comparison is here to help make the decision to scrap your car that much easier. We have a nationwide network of collection agents waiting to pick up your car, and a team of experts hanging on the line to ensure you get the very best price. Get started today for a quick, easy and stress-free way to get the most out of your scrap car.
Are brakes damaged by cold weather?
While the cold itself can’t physically damage your brakes, their performance can be hugely impacted when the temperatures drop. You may find that they could get stuck on, or even suffer a frozen handbrake cable. In most instances these are easily fixed, but it can be unnerving for some drivers.
How do colder temperatures affect your brakes?
As you drive, general moisture from the road – which is relatively common in winter months – gets into your car’s parts, including the braking system. When you park your car it’s highly likely that you will put your handbrake on, which will engage your rear brakes. In very cold conditions, the moisture in these brakes can freeze solid, jamming your brakes before you next drive away. This means that even though you release the handbrake, the pads will remain connected. The issue is usually resolved by simply moving the car gently forwards and then backwards. Usually a loud clunk will be heard, but this isn’t as scary as it sounds, and is actually the sound you’re looking for.
On some older vehicles, the handbrake is connected to the braking system by a cable as a failsafe in the event of the hydraulic system failing. In some cases this cable can also freeze, meaning that the brakes will not disengage when you attempt to do so. The way to thaw this out is to pour boiling water onto the cable, although you’ll need to know where to look and it’s best to leave this to a professional if you’re not certain you know what you’re doing.
How to keep your brakes in good working order over the winter
Although there’s usually nothing to worry about when it comes to sticking brakes, you can try to counteract it in advance by giving them a thorough clean. Remove the wheels and your brake pads and give them a once over with a good quality brake cleaner. Make sure you remove all traces of dirt and rust – and take care to avoid inhaling any of the residues. Work in a well-ventilated area and, preferably, wear a mask.
When cleaning, make sure the caliper pistons and guide pins are free to move and that rubber dust seals and gaiters are in a good condition. Put a little anti-seize (a polycarbamide grease is recommended) onto the pad backplate, caliper mounting bracket contact points and guide pins. Ensure you pump your brakes again before setting off once more, and you should have a worry-free winter!
If brakes are the least of your troubles and it looks like your vehicle won’t be making it through another winter, then why not get in touch with our friendly team of experts and see just how much it could be worth. They’re waiting on the line to ensure you get only the very best price for your car, and what’s more, with a network spanning 99% of all British postcodes, we’ll even be able to provide you with free collection. For more information or for any other queries, simply call our phone line on 03333 44 99 50 or get in touch with the team on our social channels. If you’re looking to get an instant price, then pop your details into our quote generator and see just how much your car could be worth today.