October is fall car care month, so now is the perfect time to get your car ready for the upcoming cold weather. Keeping up with your vehicle’s maintenance schedule is the best way to minimize long-term expenses later because you’re always up-to-date and in-the-know about what your car needs and when. Here’s your fall and winter car maintenance checklist for 2018.
Have You Changed Your Oil Recently?
Whether or not you adhere to the advice of changing your oil every 3,000 miles, keeping up with how much you drive and how often you change your oil can prolong the life of your engine. Fresh oil lubricates the engine’s interior parts and keeps them from seizing up or wearing excessively against each other. Older oil isn’t as effective at providing a cushion between metal parts, leading to premature wear and tear that leads to expensive repair bills.
Not sure the last time you changed your oil? It’s probably time to have your oil changed!
Test Your Car’s Heater
In Atlanta’s heat, you’ve no doubt made good use of your vehicle’s air conditioning system all summer. It may seem like the warm weather will continue for months to come, but the cold is approaching quickly. Test your car’s heater before the thermostat dips so that you don’t have to drive to work or school in the cold.
Check Your Tires for Wear and Damage
Your tires are easy to forget about, but the truth is that they undergo a remarkable amount of wear and tear even on a short grocery trip run. Having an adequate amount of tread will keep you on the road in wet and slick conditions, helping ensure that you and the drivers around you get where you’re going safely. Similarly, although Atlanta doesn’t typically get snowy weather, we do tend to get ice during the winter. Having tires with enough tread will help you keep traction during these wintry conditions.
Use the penny trick to see how much tread you have left. Insert a penny with Abraham Lincoln’s head in the tread of your tire. If you can see the top of his hair, it’s time to get new tires.
It’s also important to check your tires and wheels for bulges or signs of damage. Having a blown-out tire in the middle of a cold snap is the last thing you want to deal with!
Check Your Fluids and Add Antifreeze if Needed
Ideally, you should check your transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and all other essential fluids at the start of the fall. If you don’t have the capabilities to do so, don’t fret. Call T3 Atlanta and we’ll take care of this quick check for you.
Checking the level of your windshield wiper fluid and coolant is an easy project that goes a long way towards keeping your car in top shape during the winter.
Inspect Your Engine Compartment
Some areas in Atlanta are shaded by broadleaf trees, which are wonderful for shade in the summer. These same trees can shed leaves, needles, cones, and nuts that can gather underneath your hood if your car is parked outside. Check your engine compartment and clear away any debris that might have accumulated. While you’re at it, you can check to see if there are any signs of corrosion on your battery and take steps to remove the corrosion if needed.
Have a Fall Vehicle Inspection at T3 Atlanta
We service Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, and Infiniti vehicles at two convenient metro area locations in Smyrna and Decatur. T3 Atlanta can inspect your car’s hoses, brakes, fuel lines, steering and suspension system, battery, and more to make sure your car is in top shape for the winter. We’ll help you keep your car on its maintenance schedule and is ready for whatever the new season has to offer.