When it comes to the safety and dependability of a vehicle a little basic maintenance goes a long way. The summer and winter seasons are both hard on your vehicle. Taking the time in between them to provide preventative maintenance to your vehicle will help you avoid the stress of an expensive breakdown. For this reason, the Car Care Council has declared the month of October to be Fall Car Care Month.
Here are 10 ways, provided by the Car Care Council, that you can show your vehicle a little TLC to help it recover from the hot heat of summer and prepare it for the cold of winter, while temperatures are still mild.
- Check all vehicle fluids. This includes engine oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, antifreeze/coolant, and windshield washer solvent.
- Check all belts and hoses. Make sure they aren’t brittle, cracked, frayed, loose, or showing signs of excessive wear.
- Check the battery. Battery connections should be clean, tight, and free from corrosion. If you are in doubt, you can have the charge tested. Replace the battery if needed.
- Inspect the brakes. The brake system should be inspected annually and Fall Car Care Month is the perfect time to do so. The brake linings, rotors, and drums should be inspected at every oil change. Replace any parts that need it.
- Inspect the exhaust system. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous and must be corrected as soon as they are discovered. Make sure there is no damage to the system or broken supports or hangers. There should also be no strange noises.
- Check overall engine performance. Make sure the engine is providing the best balance of power and fuel economy and putting out safe levels of emissions.
- Check the HVAC system. The heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system should be functioning properly for interior comfort, as well as for defrosting purposes.
- Inspect the steering and suspension systems. Fall Car Care Month is the perfect opportunity to check these systems, which should be checked annually, these include the shocks, struts, and chassis parts (ball joints, tie rod ends, etc.).
- Check the tires. Make sure the tires are properly inflated and that the tread is in good condition. Uneven tire wear indicates that there is a problem with your alignment that needs to be addressed. You should also make sure the tires are free of bald spots and bulges. Replace them if necessary, and don’t forget to inspect your spare. And, if you don’t already, put snow chains in your trunk!
- Check windshield wipers and lighting. It stays darker longer in the winter, and you need to make sure that you can see, and that you are being seen. Make sure all interior and exterior lighting are working. You also need to replace your wiper blades so you can see out of your windshield during winter storms.
If you need help with vehicle maintenance this Fall Car Care Month, then look no further than the professionals at Meridian Automotive. We provide complete automotive repair in Meridian, Idaho, for most cars, light trucks, and SUV’s. For over 20 years we’ve been Meridian’s auto repair experts. Don’t just trust anyone, trust the experts at Meridian Automotive. Call us today (208) 297-5573 or schedule an appointment online.