First Hues of Autumn, First Hint of Trouble?

Your vehicle made it through the long, hot summer without issue. Winter is still a while away, but fall’s arrival means it’s time to start preparing your vehicle for the harsh weather ahead.

“Start with a visual inspection,” said Tony Molla, vice president of the Automotive Service Association. “Look for obvious damage or things like burned-out lights. The more complete list of minor repairs that you give to your service provider, the more satisfied you will be.”

Routine inspections enable technicians to fix minor problems while identifying trouble spots or future repairs. Preventative maintenance is especially important for those living in extreme weather.

The ASA offers some basic tips for fall car care:

  • Summer heat can harden and crack wiper blades. Replace them before the first rains.
  • Check washer fluid to clean your windshield. Roads are the dirtiest in the fall, after dust and grime collect on roads during the summer.
  • Inspect tires, as well as the spare. Check the air pressure and look for wear.
  • Test the battery. An old battery that has trouble cranking the car in fall may go dead in winter.
  • Monitor engine fluid levels. Oil boils and evaporates in extreme summer heat, so check the oil and replenish as necessary. Check the brake fluid, coolant, transmission and power steering fluid as well.
  • Check belts and hoses. Cracked belts or worn hoses can disable a vehicle in a matter of seconds. Make sure your serpentine belt can make it through the winter and check hoses for leaks.