October is the start of Fall Car Care Month, a time of year dedicated to reminding car drivers to get their vehicles ready for the winter months and to practice regular vehicle maintenance. As we approach the winter months, it is important to inspect vital components of our vehicles to ensure that our car is ready to handle the colder weather.
Proper car maintenance is key to keeping your vehicle running healthy and to avoiding costly repairs down the road. A properly maintained vehicle will also ensure you and your family's safety on the road.
The Car Care Council recommends 10 Fall maintenance items that will help make sure that your vehicle is ready for winter:
- Check fluids - Important fluids include engine oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, windshield wiper solvent, and coolant. Topping off fluids and making sure fluids are clean will ensure proper lubrication and keep systems working smoothly throughout the winter.
- Check hoses and belts - All hoses should be checked for corrosion and belts should be examined for obvious wear, tears, or frayed edges. Extreme cold temperatures can have an effect on hoses. Belts also have to be replaced at certain intervals based on factory recommendations, since not all damage is visible to the eye.
- Check the battery - A dead battery can be very inconvenient when it happens unexpectedly. Batteries typically need to be replaced every 3 years. A quick battery test for charge can tell you the status of your battery and how much life it has left.
- Check brake system - Brakes should always be inspected regularly to ensure your safety on the road. Brake rotors, pads, fluids, and connecting parts should all be checked to make sure the system is running smoothly and to replace or repair any necessary parts.
- Inspect exhaust system - The exhaust system should be checked that it is working properly to protect you and your passengers from harmful emissions.
- Check engine system - The engine should be checked for emissions and fuel efficiency and all parts should be inspected for any corrosion or damage.
- Check HVAC system - The heat, ventilation, and air conditioning should all be checked. The HVAC system is important for both comfort and defrosting your windshield during the winter.
- Check steering and suspension system - The shocks and struts, chassis, tie rods, and other suspension components should be inspected to make sure you have proper handling of your vehicle.
- Check tires - A very important measure for winter is to check your tires for excessive wear. They should have good tread and the tire pressure should be accurate to make sure you avoid hydroplaning or blown out tires.
- Check wipers and headlights - Wipers usually need to be replaced every year. Make sure you have good wipers and that all exterior lights are bright and clear.
If you haven’t had your vehicle inspected yet for Fall Car Care Month, bring your car into our professionals here at NWA Car Clinic or give us a call today!