Car Maintenance Tips for Fall
Car Maintenance Tips for Fall
Posted on September 13, 2022
With fall within arms reach, it's important to establish and understand essential car maintenance. Here are 5 tips to ensure you don't get stranded in the cold weather ahead.
1. Check Fluids
To keep your vehicle running smoothly in the cold, it is important to inspect all fluid levels in your vehicle. Be sure to check your engine oil, coolant, washer, and brake fluid. Checking these will be sure all moving parts in your vehicle stay lubricated and allow them to move with ease. Don't forget to also check your transmission and power steering fluid levels.
Did you know your gas lines can freeze? Your gas tank holds moisture. As your tank gets empty, more moisture collects and can enter the gas lines which may cause them to freeze in the winter cold. One way to avoid this is to make sure your gas tank stays at least half full during the winter months.
2. Inspect Tires
Since your tires are the only part of your car to touch the ground, faulty or worn tires can be a huge safety hazard. Keep a strong grip on the road by making sure your tires always have proper pressure (your vehicle's recommended tire pressure can be found on the inside of your driver's door jam). Always check the tread wear of your tires. Your tires should always be 4/32 seconds and above.
How can you check your tread depth at home? Using a tire tread gauge will give you the most accurate measurement of your tread depth but not everyone has a tire gauge. Another trick anyone can do is the quarter test. With the nose of the caribou facing down, place it in the shallowest groove of your tread. If the entire head of the caribou is visible, it's time to replace your tires.
3. Inspect Brakes
Generally, it is a good practice to check your brakes at least twice a year. Inspect the thickness of your brake pads. If the brake pads (or shoes) have four millimeters or less left, replace them. Brake pads create friction that helps your car stop when pressed against the rotor (or disc). When they are 4mm or below, they have difficulty creating the friction needed to stop and can damage the rotors and calipers. Other things to inspect are the brake rotors, linings, and drums. Visit us for a free brake inspection to inspect these as they can be more difficult.
4. Check Lights
Checking your lights is an important and often forgotten maintenance. Inspect all the vehicle lights: daytime running lights, turn signals, brake lights, reverse lights, high beams, and fog lights (if applicable). Replace those that are burnt out or bring your vehicle to us to have us do it for you.
5. Check the Heater
Heat is an important feature and is not just for your comfort. Test your heater before the cold weather hits to ensure you can defrost your vehicle in the middle of winter. The last place you want to realize your heater is broken is right after the first big snowfall. Take the time to sit in your vehicle with the heat on and feel the air with your hand. If no hot air is coming out, visit us and we will confirm and correct any problems.
Aside from the 5 tips above, it is also important to switch to snow tires when the weather hits 7 degrees Celcius. Switching to snow tires will allow for more accurate braking and help navigate through slush and snow to keep you and your family safe.