October is car care month and we thought we’d put a few tips together to help you navigate some simple things you can do to help keep your car running well and get it ready for winter!
Check your tires. Did you know that as the temperature drops outside the air pressure in your tires also drops? Make sure to check your tire pressure next time you fill up your gas tank! The change of season also means more rain, sleet, and snow, so make sure you have a solid tread on your tires before the weather turns. Here’s an easy way to use a penny to see if your tread is still good
Check lights, wiper blades and fluids. Like changing your smoke detector batteries during Daylight Savings, make this your change of season habit for your car. Walk around the outside of the car and check the operation of all lights: headlights, taillights, parking lights, brake lights and emergency flashers. Make sure the rubber on your wiper blades is flexible and replace them if they’re worn. Check those fluids! Your list should include washer fluid, transmission, brake and power steering fluid. If you don’t know where all of those are located you can ask a Fred Beans service technician the next time you take your car in for service.
Make sure heater/defroster work. Don’t find out when there’s frost on your car that your heat isn’t working! This one takes less than a minute but can save lots of cold commuting hours! Turn it on and make sure it is working.
Have Battery Checked. Your car battery has to work harder in the cold so make sure you’re working with a fully charged battery. If you see signs of corrosion on the battery terminals or cable ends, or if you spot loose connections, your battery needs attention.
Inspect under the hood. Look for leaks, cracks or loose clamps in the cooling system and squeeze the hoses and replace any that are spongy-feeling or brittle. Inspect the underside of drive belts for fraying.
Change oil and air filter. Make it a priority to change your oil as often as that sticker on your windshield tells you to. If that sticker is long overdue, get the oil changed ASAP! Check the air filter to ensure that it is clean enough to allow for proper operation. If you can’t see light through it when you hold it up to a 60-watt bulb, it’s time to replace the air filter.