It is officially fall! Now is the perfect time to prepare your vehicle for the harsh winter weather that lies ahead. Preparing your vehicle now, while the temperature is still fairly mild, is a proactive approach to preventive maintenance that will help make sure your car stays safe and reliable throughout the winter.

  1. Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake, transmission, and antifreeze/coolant.  Also check that your windshield washer solvent is full.
  2. Check the hoses and belts to make sure they are not showing signs of excessive wear. They should be free of cracks, not be brittle or frayed, and shouldn’t be loose.
  3. Check the battery and replace if necessary. The connection should be corrosion-free and tight.
  4. Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots. When winter is closer, you may want to consider changing the type of tire you use. AAA states that in areas with heavy winter weather, installing snow tires on all four wheels will provide the best winter traction. All-season tires work well in light-to -moderate snow conditions provided they have adequate tread depth.
  5. Check the brake systemThis should be done annually, and fall is the perfect time to do it. Have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change.
  6. Inspect the exhaust system. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous and must be corrected as soon as possible.
  7. Check engine performance to make sure it is providing the best balance of power and fuel economy and emitting the lowest level of emissions.
  8. Check the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Proper heating and cooling performance is vital to interior comfort.  It is also important for safety reasons such as defrosting.
  9. Check the engine air filter and cabin air filterreplace if necessary. AAA suggests you check the engine air filter by holding it up to a 60-watt light bulb. If light can be seen through much of the filter, it is still clean enough to work effectively. However, if light is blocked by most of the filter, replace it.
  10. Inspect the steering and suspension system. This is another item that should be done annually, and fall is the perfect time to do it. Be sure to look over the shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts- such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components.
  11. Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly, replace any burnt out bulbs. Replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during inclement weather.
  12. Make a roadside emergency kit to keep in your car.

Meridian Automotive provides complete automotive repair in Meridian, Idaho for most cars, light trucks and SUV’s. Don’t just trust anyone with your fall maintenance needs, trust the experts at Meridian Automotive. Call us today (208) 297-5573 or schedule an appointment online.

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