YNN's Lauren Fix, The Car Coach, files a report on the importance of being "Car Care Aware" during Fall Car Care Month.
October is Fall Car Care Month, why not take a little time to be “Car Care Aware” and make sure your vehicle is ready for the harsh winter weather ahead? Taking a few simple steps now can save you the headache and cost of an emergency breakdown later.
Whether you do it yourself or take your car to a professional service technician, we recommend five proactive steps to make sure your car is ready for winter driving.
1. Battery - Keep the battery connections clean, tight and corrosion free. Cold weather is hard on batteries, so it’s wise to check the battery and charging system. Because batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail, it is advisable to replace batteries that are more than three years old.
2. Heater, Defrosters and Wiper Blades - Check that the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system are working properly as heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons, such as defrosting. Wiper blades that are torn, cracked, or don’t properly clean your windshield should be replaced. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months. When changing the blades, also check the fluid level in the windshield washer reservoir.
3. Tires - Inspect the tires. Uneven wear indicates the need for a wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots. Check the tire pressure and tread depth once a month. Since snow and ice are coming soon, consider winter tires designed to grip slick roads.
4. Brakes - Have the brake system checked, including brake linings, rotors, and drums. Brakes are critical to vehicle safety and particularly important when driving on icy or snow covered roads. Brake fluid should be flushed every two years in every vehicle.
5. Maintenance schedules and email reminder service - Signing up for the Car Care Council’s free personalized schedule and email reminder service is a simple way to help you take better care of your vehicle now and throughout the year. It is an easy-to-use resource designed to help you drive smart, save money, and make informed decisions.
Getting your vehicle ready for winter while temperatures are still mild is a proactive approach to preventive maintenance that helps ensure safety, reliability, and fewer unexpected repairs when severe winter weather strikes. Stay on the road rather than on the side of the road.