Is Your Car Ready For Fall?

The change in seasons doesn’t mean you need to spend any less time traveling. Road conditions, however, do change with the weather. Some parts of the country are already seeing snow. For most of us, rainy weather will eventually be followed by icy conditions. Here are some fall car care tips to make sure your ride is ready, and you remain safe.

Service Your Tires/Brakes

To start, take a quick look at your tire treads. One way is to check for wear bars, but the penny test can also work. Place it into the tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down; if you can see all of his head, the tread is not safe to drive on. Get your tires replaced.

Don’t forget the tire pressure, which drops in cold weather. If you’re not at ease checking out your car, have a shop mechanic look at your tires and brakes to be sure it’s ready for winter. Tread and brake pad wear can lead to decreased stopping power and more expensive repairs.

Check Your Lights

Lighting is crucial for automotive safety in rainy, icy, and poor lighting conditions. Look for broken bulbs in your headlights, and tail, brake lights, and parking lights and clean all dirty lenses. Upgrading sealed-beam headlamps to halogen ones is a good idea as well.

Replace Worn Wiper Blades

The weather can wear out blades even if you don’t use them much. If they streak, chatter, or leave behind patches of moisture, it’s time for a replacement. Worn blades can wear down to their core metal or hard plastic material, which can easily damage a glass windshield.

Check/Change Fluids

All fluids should be topped off and clean to ensure your car is reliable and safe. Lower temperatures can thicken fluids, especially coolant. The ratio of water to coolant is higher in warm weather and lower in cool temperatures, so consider replacing it if seasonal temperature variations are extreme.

Be sure to check brake, power steering, transmission, and washer fluids. If you are purchasing a vehicle from our Los Angeles used car dealership, check that the dealer has performed a thorough inspection.

Inspect/Repair Heaters and Defrosters

If your car’s heater is damaged, it may not just be uncomfortable. The windows may keep fogging up, which can be very dangerous. Check that things are working properly, or have a mechanic look at the front and rear window defrosters to see if repairs are needed.

Check the Battery

Battery problems seem to become more common in cold weather. A technician has the training and equipment to inspect the battery and charging system. If you notice loose connections or corrosion on terminals and cable ends, seek a repair shop ASAP.

It’s also a good idea to check for leaks, loose parts, frayed belts, or abnormal engine noises under the hood. These fall car care tips should get you through winter, and contact our Los Angeles used car dealership for the latest arrivals and specials.