October is National Fall Car Care Month. You may not be going on as many road trips as you did in the summer, but we’ve compiled 7 tips to keep your car running smoothly into the colder months. Taking advantage of this crisp weather and performing the following maintenance tasks will help your car’s performance in the colder months.
1 – Change Your Wiper Blades
We recommend replacing your wiper blades every six months. Another way to remember this is to change your wiper blades at the start of the fall and spring seasons. You can tell when your wiper blades need replacing when they streak, chatter, or don’t clean your windshield effectively. Changing your blades in the fall will ensure your car is equipped to handle any winter elements you may encounter.
2 – Inspect All Your Lights
The days are shorter during fall and winter, so the lights around your vehicle must be in working order. Your lights help you see and be seen, especially in the rain, dark, or even snow! Check that all your lights are functional, including turn signals, hazard lights, marker lights, brake lights, reverse lights, taillights, headlights, and fog lights. We stock replacement bulbs for these lights at our service center in Sandy Springs. If you notice any blown bulbs, it’s a good idea to simultaneously replace the matching bulb on the other side, as that light may be on the brink of burning out.
3 – Check Your Tires
We tend to drive more in the summer, which can cause tires to wear out. A good rule of thumb is to ensure you have at least 4/32 inches of tread depth remaining. Look also for abnormal tread wear on the outside of your tires. This can be a sign of an alignment or suspension issue. Colder weather will cause tire pressure to drop, so make sure each tire is at the manufacturer’s recommended PSI level. Also, check your spare tire at this time!
4 – Inspect Fluids and Belts
Top off all the fluid levels at this time, including engine coolant, engine oil, power-steering fluid, and transmission fluid. If your car screeches while driving, this could result from a worn-down serpentine belt. McCullough NAPA Auto Care can top off your fluids and inspect your belts with any scheduled service.
5 – Check Battery Life
Cold weather can wear out a battery faster than warm weather. Pop your hood and look for any corrosion that may be forming on the battery terminals. You can clean this easily with a wire brush. Just make sure your car is turned off before doing so. Batteries will typically last between 3-5 years. If yours is within that range, McCullough NAPA Auto Care can perform a strength test on your battery and install a new one if necessary!
6 – Check Your Cooling System
If your car leaves behind liquid on the ground after being parked for some time, you may have a leak in your coolant system. Flushing the coolant in your system and replacing it with fresh fluid every two years or 30,000 miles is a good habit. Doing so will allow our technicians to inspect your cooling system and make repairs as needed.
7 – Make Sure Your Air Conditioning is Working (Yes, Even In The Fall!)
You’ll need a working air conditioning system to help defog your windshield and front windows. Even when the temperature drops to a point where you can roll the windows down, make sure you run your A/C once a week to keep it in working order. Doing so will help keep components lubricated and seals fresh.
Schedule Car Care Service With McCullough NAPA Auto Care
We hope you enjoyed these 7 tips for national fall car care month. If you found these tips more intricate than you’re comfortable handling, schedule an appointment with McCullough NAPA Auto Care and let our ASE-Certified technicians inspect these areas of your car for you.