October is Fall Car Care Month

October is Fall Car Care Month

October is Fall Car Care Month and the ideal time for preventative maintenance that can help you spot problems early and prevent car breakdowns in winter. If you don’t want to run into trouble during winter, take steps to perform some basic maintenance before the pretty leaves falling from the sky turn into flakes of snow. 

Inspect the Brakes  

During winter, the roads are wet and slippery and you need to use your brakes often. Make sure the brakes are in good condition. If you hear squealing or grinding noises while braking, it’s time to check the brakes. Inspect the brake pads, rotors, drums and brake fluid. If you are not confident enough to check the brakes, take the car to your trusted garage. 

Check Car Heater  

Without an efficient heater, it’s miserable to drive in winter. Hence, you need to check the heater during fall car care. If the car heater is ignored during the summer and fall, it can cause many problems. Check whether the heater is blowing cool or hot air. If it is blowing cool air, there could be many reasons like water leaks, a dysfunctional thermostat, broken heater controls, problems with heater core or not enough coolant in the radiator. 

Examine the Suspension 

A car’s suspension system is often taken for granted and ignored completely. After years of supporting your car’s weight, the struts and shocks wear out. Get the suspension system checked by a professional and replace any parts that have worn out. 

Switch to Winter Tires  

Regular tires are not recommended for the cold weather. The reason is that the tread rubber hardens below seven degrees and the tire does not offer any traction. This could lead to dangerous situations as the roads are wet and slippery during winter. Change to winter tires before the fall season ends. Winter tires have a special formulation that keeps the tread rubber soft even at temperatures below zero degrees. These tires offer better stability and traction on snow-covered roads. 

Inspect the Battery  

Batteries are most affected during winter. Most batteries quickly discharge in cold weather which means the engine won’t start. The battery check is an essential part of car care. On average, a car battery lasts between four to six years. Also, they lose efficiency as they get older, so you need to ensure that the battery can hold a charge. In addition, check the battery terminals. Get the battery checked by a professional. If the professional recommends a battery change, get a new one before winter strikes. 

Check Belts and Hoses  

Belts are important components of the power steering pump, air conditioning compressor, cooling fan and air injection pump. Check the belts for any cracks or signs of damage. If any belts are loose, get the problem fixed. Similarly, hoses provide a connection between the engine, radiator and heating block. Make sure there are no hose leaks and the clamps holding them are secure. 

Winter may seem far off now. But time flies and you never know when the first snowstorm hits. To be on the safe side, take out some time and take your car to the nearest garage for some fall car care.