The days are getting shorter, the temperature is cooling – it’s time to get your vehicle ready for Fall. Here is a list of things to check in regards to preparing your vehicle for fall driving.
Here are 10 tips:
1. Check the brakes and tires.
Iffy weather and less-than-ideal road conditions above all else requires good stopping power. That means good brakes and tires. Faulty brakes put you at risk even in the best weather conditions, let alone in the middle of a winter storm. Also, tires with low tread are fine when roads are dry but are dangerous in the winter due to a lower level of traction. Also, check the tire- pressure – tire pressure drops when the outside temperatures drop. The best option to get your vehicle ready for fall is to have tires with deep treads, and consider putting winter tires on the vehicle.
2. Check the lights.
Walk around the outside of your vehicle and check that all the lights are working and replace those that are not. Check headlights, taillights, parking lights, brake lights, and emergency flashers. Make sure all lights are clean.
3. Replace wiper blades.
Many consumers don’t consider wiper blades until they’re stuck in a storm. The purpose of wiper blades is to completely clear the windshield. Cracked or worn blades won’t do a good job. Check the blade’s rubber to ensure it is flexible and operate the wipers to see that the blades clear the glass.
4. Make sure heater/defroster work.
Make sure the heater is working. Driving with fogged-up windows is dangerous. Check front and rear window defrosters. Repair as needed.
5. Have the battery checked.
Don’t get caught in the cold with a dead battery. A battery may seem to be functioning fine in the late summer and early fall but may fail when the temperatures drop. Has it checked by a trained technician who can replace it if required? Pay attention if you see signs of corrosion on the battery terminals or cable ends that are loose. connections, your battery needs attention.
6. Inspect under the hood.
Look under the hood – even if you don’t know anything about engines because you’ll be able to see obvious signs of wear. Look for leaks, cracks or loose clamps. Squeeze the hoses and replace any that are spongy-feeling or brittle, because this can save you from finding the problem on the side of the road. Look at any belts — if they’re frayed, replace them. If you’ve noticed any engine noises, experienced sputtering or other engine problems, have the engine inspected by a licensed mechanic.
7. Pay attention to the Check Engine Light.
When your Check Engine light is on, it means there is a problem. You should schedule an appointment with an auto repair shop near you to determine the issue. Do not go into the winter with an undiagnosed issue as that could be a major problem.
8. Change oil and air filter.
If you’re at your recommended oil change time, then change the oil. Also, check the air filter.
9. Refill cooling system.
Check the coolant level in the overflow tank when the engine is cold because you may have lost fluid over the hot months.
10. Check all fluid levels.
This includes washer fluid, along with transmission, brake and power steering fluids.
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Visit Ontariocars.ca to search for a vehicle that will take you where you need to go. You can find reliable SUVs with AWD to get you through the snow, and even further south if you plan on vacationing.