October is Fall Car Care Month
October is Fall Car Care Month
October is Fall Car Care Month, reminding you to prepare your car for cold weather ahead. By doing some preventive car care, you can keep several common problems at bay. Here are some fall care tips you should follow.
Inspect the Belts and Hoses
The belts and hoses are essential for the efficient performance of different systems in your car. For example, you can find belts and hoses in the air-conditioning system and the engine. Check belts and hoses in your car and look for signs of excessive wear or anything that’s loose. Also, check the brakes for any cracks or brittleness.
Filters play an important role in keeping the dirt outside and protecting the engine and other components from debris. Check conditions of different filters like the air filter, oil filter and PCV filter. A clogged PCV filter can lead to rough idle and poor mileage. If the filters are clogged, replace them.
Take Care of Performance and Drivability Problems
If you are experiencing any drivability and performance problems, it is the right time to get them resolved. Cold weather is hard on the engine, and hard starts, stalling, rough idling and diminished power are some of the problems in winter. Get the engine tuned for performance and check whether it delivers the best combination of performance and fuel economy.
Examine the Heating and Air-Conditioning System
As temperatures drop, you will need a functional AC and heater to keep yourself warm and cozy during winter. Proper cooling and heating performance is necessary to ensure the working of the defroster and keep the cabin warm.
Check Interior and Exterior Lighting
Make sure the interior and exterior lights are working properly. Replace any burned-out bulbs. Also, check the headlights, turn indicators, fog lights, brake lights and other exterior lights. Working lights ensure other drivers see you and reduce the chances of an accident. Also, poor visibility is common during the colder season, which makes things worse.
Inspect Suspension System and Steering
Check the steering and suspension system. Some of the components you need to check include chassis parts like tie rod ends, ball joints and other related components. Also, check the struts and shock absorbers.
Check car fluids like engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and engine coolant. Dirty engine oil can make things worse in the colder season. Oil with suspended dirt particles is less flowy and does not provide adequate protection to the engine’s moving parts. If the oil has turned black or has dirt particles floating, get the oil changed. Read the car owner’s manual for recommended oil viscosity during the colder season.
Similarly, check the brake oil, transmission fluid and fill the oils to the recommended levels. Drain older coolant and add fresh coolant with a 60/40 anti-freeze to water compound mixture.
Basic fall car care greatly improves the safety and reliability of your vehicle. Whether you do it at home or take your car to a mechanic, make sure your vehicle is in optimal health before winter arrives.