It's Time to Talk About Fall Maintenance for Your Vehicle


With the days getting shorter and kids headed back to school, summer is officially over. So now is a perfect time to invest a little effort into refurbishing the family wagon as well as giving attention to the other vehicles lining your driveway. After all, the added heat and travel associated with summertime fun can take a toll on your car or truck. If you spent more time pulling your boat and trailer to the lake, it may be time to flush the transmission and top off all the fluids. For anyone who took a summer road trip, or two, you should check your tire wear and consider rotating your wheels to increase the life of your tread.

It is always prudent to take care of routine maintenance items before the cold weather arrives. Summer months are typically hard on your engine's oil, especially if your vehicle saw a lot of stop-and-go traffic or made several out-of-town trips hauling kids to and from grandmother's house. In addition to fresh oil and an oil filter, flush and refill your cooling system. In many areas of the country, your AC will still see a lot of use for months to come and it is essential to ensure your radiator has enough anti-freeze to handle the really cold weather that's just around the corner.

Since car batteries hold less charge in cold weather, check your battery's voltage (and fluids if applicable) and replace a failing battery before a cold morning leaves you stuck without a ride. Now is also a good time to replace all those wiper blades (front and rear) and top off your windshield washer reservoir. If you did any off-roading or traveled through drier areas of the country, your fuel/air filter may be overdue for replacement. A dirty air filter can cause your engine to perform at less than peak condition wasting fuel and money. You may not be aware that many vehicles today have an air filter for the passenger area that almost always needs changing.

Last but not least, check your vehicle's heater and defroster. Winter's first frost will be here sooner than you think. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and taking care of your vehicles while the weather is nice will lessen the chance of problems once the worse of winter arrives.

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