With summer in the rearview mirror, it’s time to start preparing your vehicle for the strain of winter weather. Cold temperatures, road salt, and ice are just a few weather-related factors that can take a toll on your car. Hazardous driving conditions and shorter daylight hours make for a challenging driving environment, and towing drivers typically notice an increase in emergency towing service during fall and winter. While they're always standing by to tow your car when you search towing near me, we also want to make sure you’re safe and comfortable on the road this season.
To protect your car from the worst of the damage, it’s best to take care of a few maintenance tasks during fall. Take a look at our 4-step vehicle maintenance checklist:
Check Your Heaters and Defrosters
Heaters play a big role in keeping your car comfortable and safe as temperatures take a dip towards freezing. Fall is the perfect time to turn them on and make sure they’re working properly, especially since they likely haven’t been used all summer. Be sure to check the defrosters as well. Without properly functioning defrosters, you’ll be stuck with a frozen-solid windshield that you have to scrape by hand. Discovering any problems early on in the fall gives you a headstart on having them repaired before winter sets in.
Make Sure Lights Work Properly
Fall means turning back the clock for shorter days and longer nights. Your car will need to be properly illuminated so you can see your surroundings and so fellow motorists can see your vehicle. If you haven’t checked your lights by the end of summer, fall is the perfect time to do so. Check all of your car’s lights, including headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, and emergency lights. Replace any burnt-out bulbs and consider cleaning the lights if you notice a build-up of dirt and dust from the summer months.
Ensure Your Battery Is Healthy
Cold weather puts a strain on your vehicle’s battery, especially since weather-related features like defrosters, heaters, and heated seats consume extra power. A dead car battery during winter is not only frustrating but dangerous if you’re stranded out in the cold. To ensure you’re going into winter with a strong, reliable battery, have the battery checked and replaced if necessary.
Schedule an Oil Change
Did you know that cold weather makes oil more susceptible to freezing? Having your vehicle’s oil level topped off will keep the engine well-lubricated throughout the winter. Oil should be changed every 5,000 miles, and many people pack on extra miles during summer thanks to travel or other fun seasonal activities. It’s a good idea to have your oil changed during fall to ensure your engine is working well once winter arrives.
To handle the hazardous road conditions caused by snow and black ice, your tires need to be in good shape for the fall and winter. Inspect the treads for signs of balding, since it reduces traction and makes it more likely to slip in icy conditions. Bald tires should be replaced in the fall, well before the arrival of snow and ice. Check the pressure levels of your tires as well. If the air is too low, you can top them off at a gas station or service center.
Check Windshield Wipers
Winter brings with it snow, sleet, and freezing rain. The only thing protecting your visibility from the worst of the winter weather is a pair of windshield wipers. Wipers don’t last forever, and as they wear down they’ll become less effective at keeping your windshield clear. If you haven’t changed your wipers in a while, now is the time to do so.