Car Care Tips for Fall
Fall Car Care Month: Keep Your Car Running Longer
As the weather turns, it’s important to take care of your car to ensure you’re getting the most out of your miles. Below are some key tips for consumers to keep their vehicles running longer and to encourage safe seasonal driving.
As cold weather approaches, the following items should be inspected by a professional:
- Battery cables and terminals (make sure they're not corroded)
- Levels of anti-freeze, oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, automatic transmission fluid and windshield washer fluid
- All belts and hoses (make sure they are free of cracks and defects)
- Air filters
- Condition of windshield wipers
- Lights and turn signals
- Tire treads
Taking care of tires becomes even more important as winter weather rolls in. Stopping on wet roads can take up to four times the normal stopping distance. With a worn tread, tires may hydroplane, skimming over the surface with little or no traction. There are a few steps you can take to ensure your tires are in good shape:
Use the penny test to inspect your car's tire treads:
- Insert a penny into the tread, Lincoln's head down.
- If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, the tread is worn and the tire probably needs to be replaced.
- Also, take a good look at your tires. Are there signs of uneven tread wear? That could indicate under-inflation, unbalanced tires or misaligned wheels.
- Rotate your tires according to the schedule in your vehicle's maintenance guide — usually about every 5,000 miles.
In addition, the Car Care Council revealed the following statistics about consumer auto care in a recent study, showing many cars on the road need a checkup:
- Fifty four percent of cars have low tire pressure.
- Thirty eight percent of cars have low or dirty engine oil.
- Twenty eight percent of cars have inadequate cooling protection.
- Nineteen percent of cars need new belts.