Very few people like seeing the Summer end and the weather turn cold once again – but it is happening whether we like it or not. While we can’t control that, we can control the condition that our vehicle is in when the weather gets colder and the rain becomes more common. By caring for your vehicle before Fall weather really sets in, you can avoid trouble down the road and save money by staying ahead of the game.
Great Time for Service
The end of Summer is a great chance to take stock of your vehicle and make sure all of the necessary maintenance items have been taken care of. Even if your vehicle is not due for a service visit, that doesn’t mean that small preventative maintenance points can’t be checked off to ensure a problem-free Winter driving season. Start with the following:
- Tire Pressure. The air pressure inside your tires is affected by the temperature of the air outside the vehicle. When the weather cools down, the air pressure will naturally drop and your tires will be running a little low. Why should you care? Not only will your vehicle not perform as well, but you will lose valuable gas mileage when driving on under-inflated tires. Check them as the weather starts to cool and add air as necessary.
- Transmission Fluid. Just as with air pressure, changing temperature can do bad things to your transmission fluid. Cooler temps might lead to your fluid level running low, hurting performance and even causing damage to the vehicle. Make sure the reservoir is at the proper level and check it regularly throughout the Winter season.
- Washer Fluid. When the weather starts to get worse, you will probably find a need for your windshield wipers, and the washer fluid, more often. This is the easiest of all auto maintenance, as topping off the tank only takes a few seconds. Getting washer fluid with deicer is a good idea if you live somewhere that the temperatures routinely drop below freezing.
- Bulbs. Check on the working condition of the bulbs all around your vehicle. You will be driving in the dark more as Winter approaches, so it is important to make sure the bulbs are working properly. Not only do they make your car safer to drive, but you can also get a ticket if you are pulled over for having a bulb out.
Full Tune-up for Best Performance
Once you have check on the basic points above, you should be ahead of the game for vehicle maintenance as Fall and Winter approach. To go a step further, have your entire vehicle tuned up in a shop. This will ensure that the whole engine is working properly and you can be confident in driving around town safely. Specifically, make sure the mechanic checks on the condition of your spark plugs and air filter.
Small Investment for Big Return
Preventative maintenance on your vehicle is always a smart idea. It is even wiser when you are faced with driving in longer hours of darkness and uglier weather conditions as the Summer comes to a close. Take a few minutes, and spend a few dollars, to check off the maintenance points in this article, and you will have done your vehicle a great service.