After long summers, saying goodbye to the heat and hello to brisk, cool weather can feel amazing! But did you know that with drastic weather changes, comes an essential list of vehicle to-dos? Learn how to prepare your car for the new season with this fall car maintenance checklist.
Inspect Your Battery
Extreme weather - hot and cold - can take a toll on battery life, so consider having yours inspected and tested before temperatures start to drop. From tailgates and holiday travel to daily work commutes, you don't want a poorly functioning battery to get in the way of your favorite fall festitivites!
Make sure your battery connections are clean, corrosion-free, and attached correctly, and pay special attention to any signs that your battery may be failing. Are your headlights dim? Is your car having a hard time starting? Do you hear a clicking sound when you turn your key in the ignition?
Inspect Your Brakes
It's no secret that your brakes are top priority when it comes to safe driving - in the fall and otherwise. Whether that's stopping, slowing down, or maneuvering slick roads and foggy conditions, you'll be relying on your brakes this season.
Make sure they're ready for the roadways ahead by getting a complete vehicle inspection at Tires Plus. Whether you need brake repair, brake pad replacement, or a brake repair quote, we've got you covered.
Inspect Your Tires
Your tires are one of the most crucial components of your vehicle. Not only do they allow you to navigate roads with ease, but they also affect your braking ability, handling, and overall driving safety. Making sure these are up to speed is a must when preparing for autumn roads.
Start by checking the tread on your tires. Tread plays an important role in helping you accelerate smoothly, grip the road more securely, and brake more efficiently. With cooler weather comes wet road conditions, making the need for adequate traction essential.
When temperatures start to drop, so can tire pressure. Drastic weather changes can cause the air in your tires to expand and contract, leading to underinflation (or overinflation). Look fo rthe recommended PSI of your tires in your car owner's manual or by checking the sticker on your driver's side doorjamb. Then, make sure your tire pressure is adjusted accordingly.
You don't have to care for your tires alone! From rotations and wheel alignments to equipping your vehicle with season-ready tires, the technicians at Tires Plus are prepared to handle all of your tire maintenance needs.
Inspect Your Lights
With fall comes slicker roads, shorter days, foggier conditions, and decreased visiblity. Therefore, you'll want to ensure that all exterior and interior car lights are in tip-top shape. Dim, broken, or dirty lights can lower your ability to see and be seen.
If you have any broken bulbs, get them replaced as soon as possible. Once they're in working order, ensure that your lights are clean. Hazy headlights, for example, can impair your ability to adequately see the road. Other lights to check include:
- Tail Lights
- Fog Lights
- Brake lights
- Low and Hi-beams
- Hazard Lights
- Side marker lights
Fall Driving Pro Tip: In foggy conditions, set your headlights to low and turn on fog lights if equipped. Low beam headlights aimed down toward the road can increase your visibility. High beams can bounce off of fog and reflect back at you, inhibiting your ability to see roadways clearly.
Inspect Your Fluids
Your car's various fluids play vital roles in keeping your vehicle running smoothly. And for many, their main functions are to lubricate and cool designated car parts. When fluids are not sufficiently maintained, the essential components they support are likely to suffer, leading to potentially dangerous conditions.
For instance, neglecting your coolant can cause your engine to run hot, while low or contaminated brake fluid can lead to increased stopping distance. Consult your owner's manual for recommended change intervals, and have your vehicle's fluids checked before hitting the road this fall.
Fluids you may want to consider checking:
- Engine oil
- Transmission fluid
- Windshield washer fluid
- Brake fluid
- Power steering fluid (if your car has hydraulic power steering)
- Differential and Transfer Case fluids
Inspect the HVAC System
Checking your heating, venting, and air conditioning (HVAC) system before temperatures drop is an essential fall car tip. This system is responsible for cooling, heating, dehumidifying, ventilating, and defrosting your vehicle's interior. When your HVAC system fails, not only is general comfort affected, but you may also have difficulty defrosting and keeping your windows clear during foggy, snowy, and rainy fall weather conditions.
Is your car taking too long to defrost? Are you not getting sufficient heat? Stay ahead of the cold and prioritize your HVAC system by visiting Tires Plus for heating and cooling repair services.
Inspect Your Windshield Wipers
If your wiper blades aren't adequately clearing your windshield or are squeaking and leaving streaks, it may be time to replace them. Autumn often brings rain, fog, and sometimes even snow, so ensure they're up to the task in these conditions.
You'll also want to consider the windshield wiper fluid in your car's reservoir. Is it clean, dirty, or low? This fluid helps keep your windshield free of grime, dirt, and other debris, which helps maintain visibility while driving. Make sure your wiper blades and washer fluid are in tip-top shape before the temperatures start to drop.
Trust in Tires Plus This Fall
Are you just about ready for fall? Visit your local Tire Plus for alignments, car A/C services, free brake inspections, and more. We'll help you say goodbye to summer and hello to fall with confidence.