Leaving out performance aspect ( Since cold weather is best for that ) I want to know which is better to maintain a car and its longevity.

My arguments for Hot weather:

  1. Engine reaches optimum operating temperatures quickly.
  2. Oil is thinner compared to cold weather thus better lubrication.
  3. Better economy in short city drives.

I would like to know if the components are affected by the weather at all(including the body,tyres?

1 Answer 1


If I had to choose, I'd say hot weather is easier on a car's longevity than is cold weather. Here is my reasoning:

Hot weather:

  • Breaks fluids down faster
    • Keep an eye on engine oil/coolant levels.
    • Maintain fluid more often (change oil/coolant sooner)
  • Tires wear out faster
    • Hot asphalt tears up the tread faster (higher temp rated tires are needed here)
  • Heat is the mortal enemy of automatic transmissions
    • If extreme heat exists, an extra capacity transmission cooler can be added

Cold weather:

  • Fluids are thicker/stiffer
    • Increased warm up time is needed
    • In extreme cold whether, the need for a block heater is a must
    • Oil doesn't circulate as quickly which can cause increased wear
  • Parts become brittle when cold which causes breakage which does not occur in hot climate
    • While metal is a big concern here, even rubber can become brittle and experience breakage

There may be other things which I'm missing here, but if you look at what I wrote, most everything which can happen to a vehicle in hotter climates can be adjusted for by doing proper maintenance. As long as that's done, wear should be about normal for the vehicle. On the other hand, there isn't much you can do about the cold. When a vehicle is cold, it will stay cold (talking mainly about suspension parts). All of the cold issues cause wear/tear on the vehicle and there is just about no way of getting around it. Even if you keep your vehicle in a heated garage, it will get cold again once it's outside. Metal fatigues faster because it becomes more brittle and forms stress risers easier. Grease doesn't lubricate as well, so parts experience more wear (ball joints, tie rod ends, etc.).

  • But in hot weather your radiator/cooler fan is going to be working over time to keep the engine cool. For example in the Americas, the Middle East, or Africa... the temperatures can easily reach 40 degrees Celsius.
    – Dan
    Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 9:08
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    @Dan - For the most part, you are right. In the grand scheme of things, fans will last for the life of the vehicle, even in hot climates. This falls under the "other things which I'm missing" portion. Appreciate the input and keeping me honest ;-) Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 10:15
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    Your car may overheat if you're stuck in traffic on a very hot day, but good radiator fans should keep you within safe levels. Aside from that one issue, the assumptions made by the question are right: more heat = better circulation, lubrication and emissions. Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 10:46
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    The other thing to consider in colder climates is the fact that you are more likely to encounter snow and ice. In the UK local authorities spread rock salt on road surfaces during the winter as the lowers the freezing point on any ice or snow. The side effect of this is that whilst using your vehicle in winter, the underside is subjected to a fairly nasty battering with wet, salty slush. This can cause corrosion in sills (rockers), floorpans and subframes. Not to mention the inherent added risk of hitting kerbs due to skidding on ice. Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 10:59
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    @Dan - Absolutely positive. The term "inter" means between. Between the turbo and engine. You need the intake charge cooled after it has been compressed, which is what creates the heat in the charge in the first place. Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 16:05

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