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With the summer solstice in our rear-view mirror, the temperatures are getting cooler and another harsh winter may soon be upon us.
Your car may have handled the heat like a pro, but how will it do in the cold?
Autumn is the time to repair the wear and tear from all the extra miles put on in the summer and prepare for the colder days ahead.
To ensure that your car keeps running at its peak performance:
#1 Check the Tires
Proper tire pressure helps gas mileage. It’s even more important when the temperature drops because tires lose pressure in cold weather. Weekly tire checks all winter assure you that they are filled up to their recommended PSI rating (which can be found on the driver’s side door paneling, in the owner’s manual, or sometimes on the tires themselves).
Check the tread depth on you tires to see if there are any bald spots or bulges. Uneven wear indicates your vehicle needs an alignment. Rotate your tires every 5,000 miles to avoid the risk of having one tire wear more than the others.
If the temperature in your area is consistently around freezing during the winter months, now is a good time to change to winter tires. Don’t be caught in the first snowfall without them.
#2 Check the Battery
In cold weather your battery loses 30% of its power and below zero it loses 50%. Make sure your battery is in peak condition with clean, tight and corrosion-free battery connections. Consider replacing it if it is older than 3 years.
If you live in frosty areas, consider using a block heater to help your engine start on cold days.
#3 Oil Change
Lower temperatures increase the stress on your engine. Prevent engine wear by changing your oil and oil filter. Think about switching to synthetic oil if you’re not using it already – it flows rapidly to critical engine parts during cold start-ups and helps provides outstanding wear protection to keep engines clean and running smoothly.
#4 Cooling System
Check the radiator for leaks and low levels. It should be flushed and refilled every 2 years but if you live in a colder area, consider using antifreeze to make sure the vehicle can withstand the temperatures. When checking, remember never to remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled.
Heating & Ventilation
Check that the heating and ventilation systems are working properly – not only for comfort but for safety in defrosting the windows. Change your air filters.
Check that the washer and wipers are operating to peak performance. Wiper blades should be changed every 6 months, so now is the perfect time to switch to snow & ice blades if necessary in your area. Use antifreeze wash fluid for cold temperatures.
Now is the perfect time to have your yearly recommended basic tune-up. The colder temperatures will only make any existing problems worse. A basic tune-up helps correct engine problems such as diminished power and/or stalling. It also ensures fluid levels (for brakes, transmission, windshield washer, etc.) are topped off or replaced as necessary.
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Once a week we'll tell you the upcoming daily celebrations & the articles you may have missed.