Although it seems like summer just started, fall is right around the corner. Now is the perfect time to prepare your car for cooler temperatures, falling leaves, wet roads and shorter days.
“Getting your vehicle ready for winter while temperatures are still mild is a proactive approach to preventive maintenance that helps ensure safety, reliability and fewer unexpected repairs when severe winter weather strikes,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.
Since big problems often start small, tiny scratches need your attention before fall’s biting rain and winter’s severe cold turn tiny scratches into rusty patches, according to BusinessInsider.com writer Matthew DeBord.
Make sure your wheels have enough tread to keep going round and round in fall. DeBord suggests swapping out tires that look worn-down or lack the proper amount of tread for a new set. If your tires are in great shape, he advises having them rotated to ensure even wear. If you live in an area that is blessed by snow, DeBord recommends investing in a pair of snow tires.
While you’re focused on your tires, don’t neglect the spare. DeBord suggests checking that the spare tire is properly inflated to prevent getting caught with no way to fix a flat tire in cold or messy weather.
To increase the life expectancy of your tires, improve your gas mileage and create better control and handling of your car, the experts at TireDiscounters.com recommend having your vehicle’s alignment checked.
Before the leaves start to fall, take a look under the hood and check that your vehicle’s fluids, including oil, washer and antifreeze, are at the proper levels. Also ensure that your brakes are working the way they should be and that your heater will be able to fight against harsh temperatures, advise the TireDiscounters.com experts.
CarCare.org recommends replacing worn or damaged windshield wipers, checking the battery and charging system and keeping the connections free of debris and securely fastened.
To protect your interior from wet shoes, soggy leaves and mud, DeBord suggests investing in new floor mats that can trap all the muck that autumn tracks into your car.
Before summer becomes a distant memory, stock up on essentials to round out your car’s emergency kit, too, advises DeBord.
“You'll want to have a warm coat—a cheap, lightweight down jacket can be a good choice—plus some gloves, a warm hat, a change of socks and a blanket. A few bottles of water are also a good idea, as are some non-perishable granola-type bars. This is also the time to make sure that you have an ice scraper, to deal with the sudden arrival of bad weather,” reports DeBord.
Take advantage of the remaining days of summer to get your vehicle ready for fall. With these tips, the changing seasons won’t catch you off guard and unprepared.
This article is presented by Colonial Honda of Dartmouth in N. Dartmouth, Massachusetts.