As we go into the cooler months, you may be thinking of doing some maintenance on your car to recover from summer wear-and-tear. You may have gone on some long road trips this summer to alleviate some of your stay-in-place boredom. Or perhaps you just want to make sure your car is in top shape. No matter what condition your car is in after summer, these are all good things to get ahead of as the weather cools down.
Check your tires
Cold weather lowers your tire pressure as the air molecules compress. So now is a great time to fill your tires with air and ensure they are in good quality for the upcoming winter. You can likely get air for your tires at a local gas station. It couldn’t be simpler!
Make sure to check the quality of the tires as well. You don’t want uneven treads! This could be very dangerous on wet roads in fall and snow and ice in winter. Anything less than 1/16th of an inch is dangerous.
October is the best time to buy new tires, so jump on that soon! There are many sales this month, as sellers know that people may be thinking about replacing their tires before winter and want to incentivize them.
Refill your fluids
This is especially important if you live in a place that gets below freezing during the winter. You want to make sure you are stocked up on wiper fluid so that you don’t run the risk of it freezing in cold temperatures.
It is also smart to check brake fluid, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid levels. The timing for this varies from car to car, so check your owners manual to find your timetable.
And if you’re coming up on 4000 miles since your last oil change, get that in too! It’s much better to get that done early, when the weather is still good, than be stuck in a bad situation when the season turns.
Verify the condition of the heater
After a very hot summer, turning on the heater may be the last thing on your mind. But you should make sure it is still in good condition! Nothing worse than going to turn it on the first cold day and getting nothing but outside air.
Test the battery
The heat can be tough on your battery, so coming out of summer it is smart to test the battery to ensure it is in good condition. You can likely get your battery checked when you get your oil replaced, but you may need to go to an auto shop if they don’t. Speaking from experience, there’s not much worse than your battery being dead during a snow storm!
Hopefully these tips will get you started on your summer-to-fall auto transition.