Signs of school starting are in the air, which means its time to make sure your car is ready for the changing fall weather and pending winter months ahead. There are 8 simple steps to prepare your car.
1. Check Belts
The warm daytime weather in the fall gives way to cooler nights, which puts strain on your belts. Checking the condition of the belts is critical to protecting your car’s performance in the winter months just around the corner. If your belts have two cracks within a two-inch area, 80% of the belt’s life has been expended. That means the surface wear is significant enough to cause slippage, which will negatively impact your car’s reliability.
2. Check Hoses
No one wants to experience a roadside breakdown during the rainy fall or snowy winter, yet according to AAA, unchecked hoses are one of the leading causes of roadside breakdowns. The number one cause of hose failure is internal corrosion by way of electrochemical degradation (known as ECD). This natural wear and tear can lead to a single leak that eventually leads to engine failure. Having a professional check all your hoses will help keep your car on the road.
3. Check Fluids
Dirty or low fluids can also place your car at risk. Regular maintenance will assure that your car can face the changing conditions apparent in fall and winter, and extend the life of your car. Having all fluid levels checked in early fall prepares your car for adverse conditions.
4. Check Tire Pressure
The rise and fall of temperatures can affect your vehicle. Tire pressure needs attention in fluctuating weather. The changing temperatures can condense or expand air in the tires with cooler nights leaving your tires low. Checking your tire pressure after significant drops in temperature will help keep your vehicle safe.
5. Check Fuel Lines
The rise and fall of temperatures might also affect fuel lines that can accumulate moisture. We recommend BP or Shell gas, both having supplements that keep the moisture out of your tank, so your car is less likely to experience moisture based engine problems. The proper gas will also help protect your fuel lines from icing during the winter.
6. Check Fuel Levels
The fuel levels are also important to manage, as temperature drops condense gasoline and causes cars to burn fuel quicker during the winter. Making sure that your tank is always above the ¼ full mark in the winter not only fights against moisture build up, but it will also protect your fuel pump.
7. Check Antifreeze
The sporadic temperature changes put extra demands on the car, making it important to keep tabs on the antifreeze so it can handle the varying temperature conditions. Checking to make sure the fluids haven’t gotten diluted during the summer is essential because the antifreeze is vital to the car’s operation because it keeps corrosion from forming.
8. Pack Winter Safety Kit
When least expected, a car can breakdown in an area that restricts how soon you’re able to get back on the road. For added protection during the winter months, place a kit inside the car that includes gloves, an ice scraper, a blanket, candles, first aid materials, flares and jumper cables.