Fall is steadily approaching as September draws to a close. It’s been a very hot summer this year, and I’m sure most of us are welcoming the crisper temperatures. But along with cooler days, come new challenges and responsibilities with your vehicle. Seasonal maintenance is a very important part of staying safe on the road while you drive, so it’s important to make sure that your car is prepared for a change in temperatures and driving conditions. Here are some car maintenance tips to help you get ready for a new season behind the wheel.
Read Your Manual
What was a summer annoyance could end up being a winter hazard. Make sure you are up to date with all manufacturer recommended check ups and tune ups. Keeping current with all your car’s recommended services not only gives you peace of mind, but prolongs the life of your vehicle and promotes a way better driving experience.
Check Your Wipers
This is particularly important for us Oregonians! The rainy season will soon be upon us and visibility in the downpour should be your top priority. The key to a crystal clear windshield is a pair of great wiper blades. Your wiper blades should be replaced annually, but it depends on what type of blades you have. Rubber blades last the shortest amount of time, while halogen-hardened rubber blades last a bit longer. Silicone blades last the longest of all, but are considerably more expensive. You’ll know its time to replace your blades when you see streaking or hear a chattering/squeaking sound while they work.
Check Your Battery
There are few things more disheartening than a dead battery in the colder seasons. Temperature drops are never kind to your car’s battery, especially if your vehicle spends a lot of time outside. The battery should typically be replaced every three to four years, leave it any longer than that and it might not work well in cold weather. If in doubt, replace it. Another way to keep your battery life up in colder weather is giving your car a few minutes to warm up before driving it.
Check Your Tires
This goes for both your current and spare tires. Make sure that the tread on your tires is good, that the tire pressure is where it should be- and if needs be, take them in for a rotation. Driving on rain slick roads is very dangerous and your tires are one of the components of your vehicle that works hardest to keep you safe. If you do a lot of driving in extreme conditions, consider purchasing a set of winter tires.
Check Your Lights
Naturally, in Winter it gets darker a lot earlier, and it’s important that you are able to see the road at all times. Most drivers are unaware that the bulbs in your car’s lights can dim over time- so if you’ve noticed that you’re having trouble seeing at night- it might not just be your eyesight. You might actually need to have your car’s light bulbs replaced, so do that as soon as possible. Remember that properly functioning car lights don’t just keep you safe, but other driver’s and pedestrians too.
At K&M Auto Service, we’ll be happy to assist you with these seasonal check ups. As a family owned and operated service, you’ll experience exceptional customer service, great advice and maximum efficiency with a distinctly professional and personal touch. Stop in or call us to let us know how we can help you get ready for a new season on the road.
By Matt Stewart