FALL IS HERE! LET’S GET READY!
Summer is a busy season for your car. Whether it’s road trips, vacations, summer camp, the daily commute, and/or just driving around, summer can put a lot of miles and wear on your car. Now that the kids are back to school, the days are getting shorter, and the air getting colder, it’s time to get prepared for Fall and Winter. The following is a checklist of things you can do to make sure your car is ready:
Make sure your wipers are intact and working. Replace any that are cracked or worn down or old. Wiper blades should ideally be changed every 6 months to a year, but we recommend erring on the side of caution and changing them sooner rather than later. After all, it rains a lot here in Portland, and seeing where you are going is pretty important!
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of good, working brakes, particularly in wet weather and darkness. There are more hazards in Fall and Winter, and it is often harder to see well, so reliably stopping is essential! Have your brakes inspected and don’t hesitate to get them changed when the time comes.
Having the right tires is crucial to safe driving at all times of the year, but especially when the roads are slicker and more unpredictable. Have your tires inspected, and replace them if necessary, either with new ones or another set that are weather-appropriate. Be sure the tire pressure is always at the proper level. Also check that you have a working spare on hand for emergencies.
Over the next several months, it’s going to be dark for a lot more time than it is light. Make sure your headlights and electrical system are in working order. Also, ensure that you are visible to others by by replacing any broken brake, hazard, and tail-lights.
Oil, wiper, steering, transmission, brake, and coolant. Fill them to the proper levels. Summer and Fall can have different effects on these fluids, so make sure you check them often. Pay attention to when your next oil change is due, and do your best to stick to the schedule.
It’s never a good time to be stuck somewhere with a dead battery. But when it is cold, rainy, or even snowy, it can be even more unpleasant and unsafe. Check your battery for corrosion, loose connections, and/or structural damage. An older battery with a low capacity will sometimes not start in cold weather. Have your battery tested and replaced if necessary.
7. Heating & Air
It may not seem like the most important thing, but the heating system is not just about keeping you warm while you drive. It’s also necessary to make sure the windows are adequately defrosted, so that you can see! Both proper temperature and air flow are necessary for effective defrosting. Test them to see if they are working properly, and bring them in to a professional if you have any doubts.
8. Emergency Road Kit
Be prepared! You don’t have to be a scout to make sure you are safe and ready for unforeseen events. Stock your car with these necessities: flares, jumper cables, flashlight (and batteries!), extra coolant & motor oil, first-aid kit, tarp and/or blanket, basic tool kit, tire iron, jack, tire sealant, tire gauge, rags or paper towels, and an ice scraper. Better safe than sorry!
Fall is also a good time to make sure everything else is in working order, such as belts, filters, hoses, and the rest of the engine. All the miles you put on the car during the summer may have put some strain on your vehicle and its parts. Catch these potential problems before they cause you trouble!
We’re here to help with any and all of the above. Contact us today for an appointment.