Summer's almost over and your car made it through the extreme temperatures. While it's going to get a break from the heat, that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep taking care of maintenance, especially before fall's arrival. After all, the cooler temperature and inclement weather will be on its way before you know it.
It's important to weatherize your car before every change in season. Here are 10 tips on how to get your ride ready for autumn:
1. Check the brakes
As the temperatures get colder, you'll want to make sure your brakes are working well to prepare for slick roads. To ensure your safety, the Car Connection suggested taking your car in to get your brakes checked. Most auto shops will inspect them for no charge, so the precautionary step is worth it.
2. Monitor the tire pressure
Much like your brakes, your tires need to be ready for inclement weather. That means frequently checking on the air pressure either manually or by paying attention if your vehicle has a dashboard alert for tire pressure. According to the Car Care Council, air pressure in a tire decreases one to two pounds for every 10-degree change in temperature. Look at your owner's manual for suggested pressure levels.
3. Check your spare, too
When monitoring the pressure of your tires, be sure to check out your spare. Typically, the inflation pressure for it will be listed on its side, according to Bankrate. If you can't find it, check the owner's manual or seek advice from a mechanic.
4. Top off windshield washer fluid
Keeping your windshield washer fluid topped off is an important safety precaution, especially when preparing for inclement weather. But don't just refill it with the same solution you've been using all summer, according to what Tony Molla, spokesman for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence told Bankrate.
"Topping off your windshield-washer fluid is an important safety precaution."
"In fall, windshield-washer fluid needs to be replaced with a solvent that is suited for use in cold weather," he said.
This special fluid only costs about $2 to $4 per gallon, so it won't set you back much.
5. Replace the wiper blades
Fall is the best time to replace your wiper blades. Molla told Bankrate he suggests taking care of this maintenance service before winter for many reasons.
"You generally use your wipers more frequently in the fall and winter," he said. "They'll also be taking a lot more abuse from road grime and windshield-washer solvent, so it's best to have a fresh set."
Replacing the blades is a simple service and will only cost you about $10 to $20.
6. Fix broken lights
The days are going to get shorter, which means you'll be driving in the dark more often in the fall than you were in the summer. To prepare, make sure all of your lights are working properly. That includes headlights, taillights, parking lights, brake lights and emergency flashers.
7. Make sure your heater works
If you neglect to make sure your heater is working before fall, you might find yourself shivering in your seat on a cold day. To keep this from occurring, just monitor it frequently or take it to the shop for a thorough inspection.
8. Get the battery checked
The older your battery is, the less likely it will hold a charge if it dies. Nobody wants to sit on the side of the road on a cold fall day waiting for a tow truck. Take your car in to the mechanic and ask for a battery inspection. If the technician finds corrosion on the terminals or a loose connection in the cables, it's likely time for a replacement.
9. Replace the air filter
Bankrate reported to replace your engine air filters twice per year, so take care of it this fall if you haven't since the beginning of the year. A dirty filter restricts airflow and fuel economy, which can ultimately worsen your car's overall performance. This is a simple task that will take a maintenance worker a few minutes to take care of, just call in to schedule an appointment.
10. Change the oil
This is something you should keep up with year-round, but if your car is due for an oil change, take it to the shop before fall's arrival. Dirty oil can hurt the engine and lead to permanent damage if it's not changed.
Preparing your car for fall doesn't have to be a hassle. Just bring it in to New Jersey Auto Auction and let our mechanics take care of all of your maintenance needs.