Fall is almost here. It’s time to get on that fall car maintenance.
My favorite time of the year just happens to also cause a lot of wear and tear on a vehicle’s physical condition and mechanics. Though it may seem like summer’s excessive heat can be a problem for vehicles, and it can, colder weather can be a downright pain. Your engine has to work a lot harder during the bitterly cold months just to start.
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Winter does the most damage, and most of us prepare for spring afterward, but don’t think the fall weather can’t be problematic as well. Get ahead of the cold weather by performing the necessary maintenance tasks as you would for summer.
Make a checklist and ensure the following car maintenance tips are checked.
Before you do any maintenance, you’re going to need to stock up on oil, new wiper blades, a tire-pressure gauge, maybe some brake pads, engine fluid, and more. It’s best to consult with a mechanic or do some online research. Once you’ve all stocked up, it’s time to get dirty.
- Check your tires. Your tires took a beating during the summer. Now that temperatures are cooling down, it will do a number on the tire pressure causing unseen cracks and additional damage.
- Change out wiper blades. Windshield wipers don’t like cold weather. Just like hot temperatures, cold weather can cause the rubber and other parts to crack. Damaged blades can leave streaks, which can be dangerous during highway driving.
- Test the brakes. Your brakes take a pounding throughout the year. Drums, rotors, and other brake-system components will need to be checked. Have you heard grinding? Does the brake pedal not feel quite right? It’s time to get those brakes replaced.
- Get an oil change. While it’s important to change your oil every 3,000 miles, it’s equally as vital to change it before the cold weather hits. Summer is hard on your engine which can make your oil exceptionally dirty.
- Top off or change your fluids. An engine has many different fluids flowing through it, and they all need to be checked once summer is over. Power steering, brake, transmission, windshield, and antifreeze fluid need to be changed or topped off.
- Check the battery output. One of the most important parts of vehicle maintenance, the battery is the life-blood of your car. Many national-chain auto care shops will test your battery for free or you can buy a battery tester.
- Blow your air hot and cold. The best way to test the functionality is by running the AC for 15 minutes. Running it will keep the system fresh. Once those cold temperatures blow in, you’ll be wishing you had tested it sooner.
- Replace the cabin air filter. Funny smells are a sign of a defunct cabin air filter. They’re easy to remove and replace. You can usually find instructions on how to remove and replace one in your owner’s manual.
Your car is going to need a little TLC this coming fall so it can run smooth well into the bitter winter months. What better time to get on it than now? The more prepared you are for the colder temperatures, the better. Do the work now so you can avoid excessive car maintenance costs down the road!
What tips would you add to this checklist? Leave a comment and weigh in!
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