Autumn is upon us. The weather is cooling down, the days will be shorter, and the kids are back in school. The change in season is the perfect time to perform a once-over on your car to make sure your vehicle is ready for fall and winter.
1. Check Your Wiper Blades
After all of the spring and summer rain showers, it may be time to replace your wiper blades. The heat and UV rays of summer sun can speed up the wear. When wiper blades wear out, they can smear or streak your windshield, making it difficult to see where you’re going.
2. Check Your Tires
Tires are critical to the performance and safety of your car. If your tread is too worn, you will have less traction on the road, making your car more difficult to handle. The cooler air may also reduce the air pressure in your tires. You can do a tread check with a penny and check your tire pressure at your local gas station. Some gas stations even offer free air for your tires! The NHTSA also has this handy guide about tires.
3. Check Your Fluid Levels
A drop in temperature may cause the fluids in your car to thicken. This causes more wear on your engine and may result in costly car repairs and more money at the gas pump. You can check your oil at home to determine if you need an oil change. Consumer Reports explains how here.
4. Check Your Lights
With shorter days your headlights are getting more of a workout. Check your headlights and make sure your high and low beams working properly. Have someone help you by walking around your car to verify that your other lights – headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and flashers – are all working properly.
5. Check Your Battery
Nobody wants to be stranded with their car in need of a tow. Your battery must be fully charged in cold weather to start your vehicle. Check your battery for corrosion. Some auto parts stores will even check your battery for free.
Now that your car is ready for the chilly days ahead, you can confidently drive on the road, knowing that your car is safe for you and your passengers.