Car Maintenance Tips for Fall

As you may know, Fall is here and the temperature is slowly starting to drop. Although not many car owners start thinking about car maintenance, you should plan ahead before it gets too late. Here are a few helpful tips that could save you a lot of time.
1. Check belts and hoses for signs of wear before braving the cold. That’s why it makes sense to pay close attention to the details while scanning under the hood. Rubber serpentine belts, for example, can grow a bit rigid when exposed to the winter chill. According to Boston.com, the appearance of cracks and fraying ends is indicative of a belt on its last legs. Forgetting to replace these belts as they wear down or approach 60,0000 miles makes it far more likely they will tear or snap while you’re on the road.
Your cooling system must also be carefully maintained, even if the outside temperature is below freezing. Be sure to check hoses running under the hood for any signs of deterioration or leakage. Like rubber belts, cold weather may cause brittleness to become a problem. If this is the case, you might consider replacing hoses and belts regularly. If you are not comfortable performing these precautions, seek advice from your dealer or local auto repair shop.
2. Proper tire maintenance minimizes accident scenarios. We constantly fix tires that have not been maintained properly. You should be checking your tire pressure at least once a month, a regular check will not only improve your fuel economy, but it also ensures that your car will handle optimally in any emergency maneuvers. A neat trick is doing a “penny test”. If you can see all of Abraham Lincoln’s head, take the car to a tire service center to have your tires checked up.
3. Clear windows and windshields to maintain visibility
Not being able to see out your windows is a major issue during winter, since safe driving through rain and snow depends heavily on your ability to see what’s directly in front your vehicle. A new set of rubber-clad wiper blades, designed for winter usage, and a restocked supply of winter windshield washer fluid will help keep the road ahead in clear view. When it comes to clearing obstructions from your side and rear windows, be sure to keep an ice scraper somewhere in your vehicle.
4. Keep up with battery maintenance to avoid getting stranded
Another component that sometimes goes overlooked during the wintertime is your car’s battery. A dead cell in the middle of the New England winter is not only frustrating but could also turn dangerous if you and your family are stranded far from civilization.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence recommended that drivers perform a bit of maintenance to keep their battery alive and healthy as long as possible. Removing corrosion, tightening wire connections and keeping battery fluid at appropriate levels is key to keeping your car moving during the New England winter.
5. Don’t forget to flush your fluids
Too little coolant will cause serious problems after temperatures take a massive drop. Make sure to flush and refill your engine’s coolant tank as often as recommended. Allow the entire vehicle to cool down after the operation before you start messing around under the hood. Otherwise, you’ll risk injuring yourself or those around you when you twist off the radiator cap.
By following these suggestions and taking care of your vehicle during the winter, you help avoid potential risk or damage that could occur. Again, if you are not comfortable doing so on your own, please make an appointment with your closest dealership or at your local auto repair shop. Stay safe this winter!

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