Everyone has a lot to do in October. Prep a costume for Halloween, find the perfect pumpkin to carve, or spend time in the beautiful weather at beer fests or wine tastings – we get it. All fun things aside, October is also a big month to care for your car before the fierce winter months ahead.
We highly recommend that you run down a checklist (much like the one we provide below) so that you can see what important car essentials you may need to get looked at or fixed. Some of these are simple enough to check yourself (tire pressure, wipe blades, etc.) and others you ought to consult a certified technician. (Keep in mind: we’re running a Fall Service Special for just $9.95 that could be of great help to you and your car.)
Battery & Charging System
This is one of the checks you should get an ASE-Certified Technician to take a look at. Coming into the wintery months, you don’t want an engine that fails to start because it’s too cold. With a fully charged battery, you won’t have any engine start-up issues. (FYI – NationCare does offer FREE battery testing & charging.)
Tire Type, Tire Tread
If you live in an area that doesn’t get plowed well during winter snowstorms, you might want to check the types of tires on your car. Snow tires could benefit your driving considerably by giving you much more traction. All-season tires are also a good option, but aren’t made for really heavy stuff. Nonetheless, take a look at your current treads and their depth. As we’ve mentioned on previous blogs – you want to fit a penny up to Lincoln’s head into the tread. If it’s not that deep, get them replaced.
Checking tire pressure takes 5-10 minutes of your time AT MOST. Head over to your local Wawa and use their handy-dandy air hoses (which are free BTW) and check the PSI in all four of your tires. When temperatures drop, so does your tire PSI. Be cautious when it starts to get really cold out in November and December. If you don’t know what PSI you should inflate your tires to, check your owner’s manual or the side of the tire itself.
Most technicians will remind you or suggest you change your air filter after most standard visits. However, it’s fairly easy to check yourself if you have a light bulb handy. Hold the filter up to the light, and if the majority of the filter blocks light, replace it.
Another essential check heading into winter is checking coolant levels. When your engine is cold, take a look at the overflow tank. Adding 50/50 solution of coolant/water will maintain the needed amount of antifreeze.
If your blades leave streaks or misses parts of your windshield, they need to be replaced. Spend the extra $10-15 to get high-quality wiper blades; they come in handy in nasty rain and snowstorms.
Ever try to clean off your windshield and realize you’re out of washer fluid and you have to drive miles with smeared road ice and ice in your face? I have, and it sucks. Spend $4 and get a gallon of fluid and fill up your reservoir under the hood.
Don’t wait until your brake light comes on. If you feel or suspect something happening differently while driving, it’s about time you get them checked out. Ask a NationCare ASE-Certified Technician if they can confirm they’re working properly or need to be replaced.