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Vehicle Prep in the Fall

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With autumn comes the changing color of leaves, crisp fresh air and the drop in temperature. Fall signals that winter is on the way, bringing changes in driving conditions with it. Think of fall as a period of preparation. Now is the time to get your car ready for winter. After all, with Mother Nature calling the shots, you never know what kind of weather you’ll get caught in. Here are a few tips to prepare you for the cold road ahead!

Check the Tires
Wet pavement and ice hinder the traction on your tires so check the tread before taking long drives. With the drop in temperature, it can cause your tires to get low on air. Traveling with unevenly inflated tires is dangerous and can affect your gas mileage so use a tire pressure gauge and adjust the pressure according to the requirements in the car manual.

Prepare for Cold Weather
Getting stranded on the side of the road any time of the year is no fun, especially in the colder months. Be prepared for a roadside emergency and stock your vehicle with the following items:

  • Gloves
  • Ice scraper
  • Blanket
  • First aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight       

Check the Oil
Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your car manual. Take your car to a mechanic to see the best oil for your car in the colder weather.

Check Your Heater
Check to make sure your heater is working properly. You don’t want cold weather to sweep in and realize it doesn’t. Driving with a fogged-up windshield is unsafe so make sure the defroster works as well.

Check Your Brakes
Brakes are crucial for safe driving. Get your brakes checked before getting well into the fall and winter seasons. Roads tend to be wet and icy, so it is very important your brakes are reliable. With colder weather, brake problems increase, so pay attention to screeching sounds and unusual noises that may point to failing brake pads.

Windshield Maintenance
Make sure your windshield wipers are working properly because you never know when to expect some precipitation. Have plenty of washer fluid and ensure they cover the entire windshield. If they get stuck in certain places or don’t clean all the water off, you should replace the wiper blades as soon as possible.

Examine Your Battery
Cold weather can affect a car’s battery. Make sure posts and connections are free of corrosion. Have your battery tested to see how much charge it can hold. You don’t want to end up stranded with a dead battery if you can help it, so examine your battery and replace it if you need to.

A part of preparing for colder months means replenishing your vehicle with what it needs. Stay up to date on your car maintenance so when the crisp air sets in and the leaves start to change, you can set your mind at ease knowing you’ve taken the steps to prepare your vehicle for the season.

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