It’s all in the name, and with the fall season now in full swing, changes are a-coming—falling leaves, falling rain, falling temperatures, and eventually, falling snow. Officially designated as Fall Car Care Month, “October is the ideal time to give your car some extra attention before harsh winter weather arrives. Taking a little time for auto care now can help you avoid the headaches of a costly emergency breakdown later,” said Rich White, Executive Director of the Car Care Council.
With that in mind, how can you ensure your car is ready to face the frigid months ahead? Mighty Auto Parts has put together a quick checklist to help you get your car winter-ready this fall.
Be fluent in fluids: Like the human body, cars need fluids to run and get you safely from point A to point B. Check and top off engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant to keep your vision clear and your engine from freezing up.
Tighten, toss and trade up belts and hoses: Hoses and belts are integral to a well-tuned, well-running engine. To ensure these vital mechanisms don’t fail you when you need them most, they must be checked for leaks and tightened or replaced when signs of slackness, cracking, brittleness, or fraying are evident.
Battery-up: Cold weather can be especially hard on batteries, even those that work fine during the warmer months. If your battery isn’t charging and discharging correctly, replace it, and be sure to verify that connections are clean, tight, and corrosion-free.
The “brakedown:” As the saying goes, when you step on the brakes, your life is in your foot’s hands. As we are flung headlong into the wet, icy months, not only should your brake system be checked out, but each time you get your oil changed, your brake linings, rotors and drums should be inspected.
Exhaustive exhaust exam: Exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide, making it potentially dangerous to drive with an exhaust leak. Unusual noises, poor fuel mileage, a vibrating gas pedal, rumbling in idle, and smelly fumes are all indications of an exhaust leak. Furthermore, exhaust leaks should be corrected without delay to prevent damage to your car or harm to you or your passengers.
Being hot when it’s cool: Your car’s HVAC system cleans, cools, heats, regulates, ventilates and dehumidifies the air entering the cabin. Critical to driver and passenger comfort and safety, ensure your HVAC system is in prime working order before venturing out this fall and winter.
Round and round: As the only part of your car that touches the road, your tires need constant TLC to ensure optimum performance. Because tire pressure drops 1-2 pounds for every 10° in temperature, keeping a continuous vigil is imperative. Also, check for bulges, bald spots, and treadwear—uneven wear typically indicates that a wheel alignment is necessary.
Wipe away: Whether it’s rain, leaves, sleet, or snow, wipers are vital to seeing out of your car’s windshield. Streaks and squeaks signify that replacement blades are needed.
See and be seen: As the days shorten and darkness abounds, depth perception and peripheral vision are compromised, for you, as well as other drivers on the road. Ensure your visibility and vision are not negatively affected by improperly working interior or exterior lighting.
Wash off/wax on: While not necessarily at the top of the list, a good washing and waxing can prepare your car’s body for the harshness to come. Washing off the remnants of summer and applying wax is the best way to protect your car’s paint job and body panels from the harmful effects of snow, ice, and salt.
During National Fall Car Care Month, Mighty Auto Parts is here to help. Mighty has thousands of partners across the country stocking high-quality parts, providing expert services, and friendly faces who can ensure your car is made winter-ready this fall.