Thunder Bay Auto & Truck Repair

Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

How Can Cold Weather Affect My Brakes?

Your vehicle's braking system requires maintenance year-round, but they can mainly be more concerning when the temperatures drop below freezing in the winter. We're all aware that the cold can drain your battery or strain your engine, but you might be thinking, "what can the cold do to hurt my brakes?"

While it may shock you, the winter weather cannot directly impact your brakes. However, it can be a contributing factor in wearing them down. Whether you drive a car, SUV, truck, or fleet vehicle, it's essential to keep your brakes in tip-top shape. 

Increase in Brake Wear and Tear

In Thunder Bay, the snow and ice on the roads can make winter driving tricky during this time of year. To offset the slipping and sliding you may experience in a vehicle, the average driver will be pumping their brakes more frequently.

The brakes have to work extra hard whenever this happens, generating more heat and friction. While your brakes are supposed to dissipate heat, excess usage and continuous stop-and-go driving can cause them to overheat, accelerate wear, and shorten the brake pads' overall lifespan. 

Road Salt Can Cause Brake Corrosion

Road salt is widely used during the winter to melt the ice and prevent slick driving conditions. As a result, it will help your car tires gain better traction. Unfortunately, there are some caveats to road salt. As you drive on salted roads, it can kick up and around your automobile. Salt can cause vehicle rusting, especially near the undercarriage and around the tires (aka where your brakes are). Therefore, you must keep an eye on your brakes and remember to wash your car regularly in the winter.


In conclusion, the cold cannot directly impact your brake performance, but it can cause them to wear down quicker. So, please make sure you have your breaks and rotors inspected this winter and after winter to ensure they keep you and your vehicle safe. Additionally, keep your ears peeled for any squealing, grinding, or any unusual signs of worn brakes. 


The team at Preferred Auto & Fleet Service cares about your safety. We invite you to our Thunder Bay auto repair shop today for all your brake maintenance and repairs!

725 May St N Thunder Bay, ON, P7C 3S1 (807) 622-1998
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