With shorter days and cooler temperatures upon us, now is a good time to get your car ready for the upcoming winter driving season. Although some seasonal car maintenance will require the skills of a qualified mechanic, here are five, easy maintenance items that you can do yourself (and save some cash).
1. Change your wipers – You generally use your wipers more frequently in the fall and winter. They’ll also be taking a lot more abuse from road grime and windshield-washer solvent, so it’s best to have a fresh set. Don’t forget the 3rd wiper for the rear window if you have a hatchback, wagon, van or SUV!
2. Top-off windshield wiper fluid – We also tend to use more windshield wiper fluid in the fall and winter, so be sure your reservoir is full. If you live in the mountains or other colder climates, change to a wiper fluid that contains anti-freeze.
3. Check your tire pressures – Temperatures have dropped in the last couple of days, and so have your tire pressures. Tire pressures can drop as much as 10psi or more as the weather cools down! Don’t forget to check the spare tire too!
4. Check your engine air filter – In the South, our air filters tend to get dirty in the spring and summer with all the dirt and pollen in the air. So fall is a good time to check the filter and replace it if necessary, so your car can breathe easily going into winter.
5. Check your battery – for dirt and corrosion on the posts and cable connectors, and clean them with a damp rag and mild detergent if needed. Consider having the battery tested to make sure it has enough charge left to last you through the winter.