Fall Car Care Month in October is the perfect time to give your vehicle a little extra TLC after the extreme summer heat and before frigid winter temperatures arrive. To ensure you're covered bumper to bumper, RJ's Tire Pros & Auto Experts offers these tips on how to care for your car after summer.
Schedule an Oil Change
Advanced oil formulations allow you to go longer between oil changes - but waiting too long can strain your engine, shortening your vehicle's lifespan. Seasonal oil changes ensure smooth, lasting operation.
Check Fluid Levels
Prevent fall fluid mishaps. When your car is cool, check the oil, coolant, brake, power steering, transmission, window cleaner, and de-icer fluid levels, restoring them to proper levels.
Inspect Your Braking System
Brakes are essential to safety and should be inspected annually. Scheduling a brake service at your local car service center ensures a thorough inspection of critical components, including brake pads and rotors, calipers, brake drums and shoes, wheel cylinders and springs, hoses, and hydraulics.
Test Your Car Battery
Frigid temperatures are tough on car batteries. Check your battery for corrosion around terminals indicating connection issues, cleaning and tightening as needed. If it's been over a year since you've installed a battery, have it tested at your local car service and replaced when it's past its prime.
Replace Lights and Wiper Blades
Fall brings more driving in the dark, foggy, rainy, and potentially snowy conditions. Ensure you can see clearly with a fresh set of wipers, and new light bulbs, clearing headlight oxidation that reduces visibility if needed.
Have Your Car’s Heating and AC System Checked
Defrost and humidity control are essential in the fall. If you've noticed temperature control in your vehicle isn't what it used to be, have your local auto mechanic perform an AC system check.
Inspect and Address Tire Issues
Check tires for uneven wear, which indicates an alignment is needed. Replace tires with low tread or bald spots ASAP, as these issues impact traction and braking performance. Pop a penny upside down between treads – if you can see past Lincoln's hairline, it's time for new tires. If tires are in good shape, rotate them to extend use.
Assess Steering and Suspension
Fall driving hazards like deer, leaves, and wet, slippery roads make excellent handling a must. Be sure to have your local auto repair shop inspect your shocks, struts, and springs for wear that can impact driving performance and replace worn components.
Inspect Hoses, Belts, and Exhaust
Replace loose, worn, cracked, or brittle belts and hoses to avoid getting stuck roadside. Check for and address exhaust leaks, which not only impact performance and mileage but could also pose a safety risk.
Consider a Cooling and Transmission System Service
Fall is an excellent time to make sure you're on track with bigger maintenance tasks. Performing a cooling system flush and transmission service on schedule extends your vehicle's lifespan. Since frequency varies by model, we recommend consulting your owner's manual.
Simplify Things with a Car Inspection from RJ’s
Has figuring out how to care for your car after summer left you feeling overwhelmed? RJ’s Tire Pros & Auto Experts has you covered, offering fast, affordable car inspection and maintenance. Yakima, Selah, Naches, Union Gap, and West Valley customers look to us for trustworthy, affordable auto repair and maintenance. Ensure a smooth road ahead. Contact us at 509-453-8170 to schedule service today.