From the Blog
Autumn Tune-Ups to Prepare Your Car for Winter
September 22nd marked the official start of fall. We all know what that means! While you may welcome the cooler temps of autumn, a nice break from the dog days of summer, your car may not make the transition quite as well. That’s why you need to perform some basic tuneups as the months get progressively cooler. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Get your battery tested. Many local shops will do this for free. It pays to call and ask. Cooler weather tends to drain the battery more readily. If it’s not holding enough charge, it might be time to replace it.
- Check your tire tread. If they look worn, it’s time to consider replacing them. Check the tire pressure while you’re at it. The air pressure in your tire can decrease one to two pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change.
- Check your brakes. Not only can driving on worn pads decrease stopping power, it can also damage brake rotors as well, says Be Car Care Aware.
- Add winter-formulated windshield washer fluid, as regular washer fluids will freeze if the temperature dips too low.
- Make sure you have a road emergency kit. While snow storms in Dallas are rare, they can catch anyone off guard. Keep a spare tire, flashlight, small tool kit, extra batteries, ice scraper, de-icer and brush in the trunk. A first aid kit is a good idea any day of the year, so stock one with bandages, ointment, and the like.
- Replace your floor mats. All that dirt and sand from the summer ends up pooling on your door mats, making for an unsightly appearance. Sweep them out or invest in new ones, Don’t forget to give your car a good vacuuming too, as that dirt and sand can get ground in pretty deep.
- Replace the wiper blades. Wear and tear on your wipers will increase this winter with the possibility of ice and maybe even some snow. Take a good look at your wipers and pick up some new ones if they look worn.
- Get an oil and filter change. Because oil feeds your engine, you need a good supply to start off the autumn. When the colder weather hits, remember it will cause your car’s oil to become more thick and viscous, straining your engine when you turn it on.
- Take a look at your coolant levels. Well maintained levels can keep your engine performing at top capacity. Try a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water to keep the motor going strong.
- Keep up with regular tune-ups and service appointments. Make sure you have enough gas in your car at all times, as you can improve your gas mileage with a properly tuned car by about four percent. Likewise, stay on top of preventive maintenance visits, too, to ensure a longer life span for your vehicle.
- Check the HVAC system. Make sure both heater and cooler are working properly. These elements are key to maintaining comfort while driving as well as safety due to systems like the defroster.
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