October is Fall Car Care Month
October is Fall Car Care Month
Basic auto care goes a long way in improving the safety and reliability of the vehicle. Winter is hard on your car. If you ignore car maintenance during the fall season, the minor problems might become worse in winter. Hence October is considered as Fall Car Care month that prepares your car for winter.
Check the Engine Oil
Check the engine to ensure it is delivering the best in performance and fuel economy. You also need to check the engine oil level. According to car manufacturers, maintaining an adequate level of engine oil is the most basic car maintenance you need to perform on a monthly basis. If the engine oil has turned black, you need to change engine oil.
Examine the HVAC system
A running HVAC system is important in winter, especially when it comes to keeping your car warm and your windshield defrosted. Before winter arrives, get the air conditioning system checked by a professional.
Inspect the Tires
Begin with checking the air pressure in all tires. According to tire experts, the dropping temperature also causes a drop in tire pressure. With every 10° drop in temperature, the air pressure in a tire is reduced by one PSI. Driving on underinflated tires reduces fuel efficiency and also causes uneven wear and tear of tires, which leads to early tire replacement. You need to ensure that all the tires have the recommended air pressure, including the spare tire.
Check the Battery
Extremely cold temperatures are hard on car batteries, and the battery’s efficiency is affected. If your car’s battery is not in good condition, you are more likely to face starting problems in winter. Check the battery for any leaks or signs of corrosion. Also, check the terminals for signs of rust or lose connections. The battery loses efficiency with time and you need to ensure the battery can hold a charge. To be on the safe side, get your car’s battery checked by a professional, and get a new battery if recommended.
Examine the Windshield Wipers
During winter, your windshield gets covered with moisture and snow, blocking your vision. Before winter arrives, check the wiper blades. The wiper blades have a short life — around six months to a year. The summer heat can cause cracks in wiper blades and render them useless. You need to ensure the wiper blades are in good condition and can clear the windshield effectively. If the wiper blades have cracks, get new wiper blades. Similarly, drain the wiper fluid reservoir and fill it with a new wiper fluid with an anti-freezing compound.
Examine the Brake System
You need to check the brake system during fall car care. During winter, the road conditions are slippery, and you would need to use brakes often to control your car. The brake pads, rotors and drums need to be inspected, and any parts that are damaged or worn out need to be replaced. Also, check the brake fluid and ensure it is at the recommended level.
October is an ideal month to give your car much-needed attention before harsh weather sets in. These basic maintenance tips cover most car systems that are more likely to fail in the absence of essential maintenance and repairs.