If you are a regular Tracy Treadmore reader, you probably already know that October is Fall Car Care Month. The non-profit Car Car Council has designated both April and October as national car care months. It is no coincidence that these months happen to be in the spring and fall. That is because both of these seasons provide the perfect time to give your car the much needed attention before the more extreme weather conditions of summer and winter arrive.
Now that October is here, it’s the time to take care of your vehicle to avoid potential headaches once the big chill of winter sets in. Here are ten things you can do to celebrate Fall Car Care Month and make sure your vehicle is being properly maintained for optimal performance and safety.
- Inspect your battery. Ensure the connection is tight, clean, and free of corrosion. It is also smart to have it tested and replace it if it is not up to snuff.
- Have brakes professionally inspected. Annual brake checks should be performed, including inspection of the rotors, drums and brake linings.
- Get an exhaust system inspection. Periodic inspection for leaks, damage, or broken components is important. Especially if you’ve noticed unusual behaviors or loud noises.
- Have your engine checked. Make sure your engine has the best balance of power and fuel economy for optimal performance.
- Check your wipers and lights. It is critical to see and be seen during winter driving. Make sure your wipers are in good condition and lights are in good working order.
- Check your car’s fluids. Window washer solvent, antifreeze/coolant, engine oil, power steering, brake & transmission fluids are all essential to your car’s performance.
- Have your heating/HVAC system checked. Make sure your heating system is working properly to stay safe and comfortable this winter.
- Have your steering and suspension inspected. Annual inspection is essential, including a review of components such as shock absorbers, struts, ball joints and tie rod ends.
- Inspect your tires. Look for signs of uneven wear and tears, since these things can greatly affect your safety. Always keep your tires properly inflated.
- Take a look at the hoses & belts. It is important that nothing is loose, cracked, brittle, or showing signs of excessive wear.
Basic auto service and repairs go a long way in assuring the safety and dependability of your ride. Keep in mind that vehicle manufacturers have specific recommendations, so be sure to refer to your owner’s manual guidelines, and contact your trusted auto care professional if you have specific questions.