The autumn is here, and along with here is the time to take care about your car before the cold winter. You should perform it before the leaves start to fall off.
How prepare your car to wind, rain and cold?
Check the lights
In autumn the mornings and the evenings are darker, so it’s very important that the other driver can see you well and you have a clear picture of the way let’s get ahead.
You should make a full check that you must look at each lamp. In autumn the days are shorter, the sun goes down even earlier so you need to the lights earlier. If you find a bad light, replace or replaced by someone as soon as possible.
If it’s possible, check the lights in every week. This is a good way to avoid surprises while driving. But you should keep a few spare bulbs in the car for emergencies.
In many cars you can replace the lights quickly and easily, but other types require more experience. If you are unsure of yourself or do not know how to replace the bulb, ask for help (if you use a rental car call the car rental staff who tell you what to do).
Check the condition of tires
In autumn, pay particular attention to the tires. Check the pressure and tread depth.
The tires are essential elements to a safe ride, especially in cold weather when the roads may be slippery. The official minimum tire depth is 1.6 mm, but the tread should be at least 3 mm to allow the best grip and safe driving on wet roads.
It’s a good idea to consider to use the winter tires. Winter tires allow an optimal grip and handling when the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius (despite the fact that many people think that they are only necessary in case of snow and ice).
You should periodically check the tire pressure. Improper pressure not only increases the consumption of the car, but it can also destroy the tire, so that they will wear faster. Inadequate pressure effects on the treatability of the car too. Before you start the road, make sure the tire pressure are good.
Check the battery
It’s really important in autumn and winter months. In order to function your car properly, the battery must be in good condition.
In cold weather, it changes how much power the battery need to get started and move. The old 3-4 years batteries are more prone that they don’t want to start, especially if you had trouble even in hot weather with starting. Check the battery status by a mechanic, if necessary, replace it.
Check the brakes
As the weather gets colder, on the road appears frost and ice, especially in the morning. Make sure that your car’s brake system works well. If you can take a look at the brake pads – if they are worn (3 mm or less), you have to replace them by a mechanic.
If you’re not sure when you checked the brakes, or feel something strange when braking, contact a mechanic. Early testing can avoid that problem will turn worse and the repair costs will high.
If the brakes had to be replaced by a mechanic, drive more carefully and more slowly after the replacement to “embed” the new parts. To do this, about 30-40 km is required. Excessive braking may damage the new parts, which makes it lose its effectiveness and performance – it’s not very good during the cold months, when the braking distance is longer anyway.
Check the engine
Check oil, antifreeze, belts and hoses regularly. The oil must be periodically replaced to ensure maximum engine efficiency. The antifreeze life it between 2-5 years, depending on the type.
Check the wiper blades and the level of windshield washer fluid
In summer the weather is relatively mild, but you will probably meet 1-2 storm. The blades are usually good for 1-2 years, so if you didn’t change them recently, you should definitely replace it before the autumn rainy weather. The leaves can start to fall in any day, so you must prepare to effectively keep the windshield clean from them.
Check the air filter
The dust and pollen accumulated in air filter during the summer and the dirty filter reduces air flow, horsepower and engine performance. Autumn is the perfect time to give to the car a breath of fresh air. In most car the replacing of the air filter is very simple, you can get it about 30 minutes and it doesn’t require any tools. This is one of the quickest and cheapest maintenance, done by car owners.
Summary – What to look for?
1. Clean your car carefully – even if it is autumn. Pay particular attention to the parts under the hood, the area below the windshield (so-called air chamber), where the leaves and the water collects. The water can damage the car’s electronics when leaks through (rectification can be expensive)
2. Pay attention to the windows. Before you start the road, make sure the windows are clean, and there is no dirt layer on the inner surfaces.
3. Check the wipers because in the next 6 months you have to use much. Wipe with a soft cloth and, if necessary, replace them.
4. The windshield washer fluid tank must always be filled.
5. Clean the lamps.
6. The level of antifreeze is important throughout the year, check at home or service station. Make sure that you use the correct type: Do not mix different color variations.
7. Check the car’s battery: Make sure that its roof is clean and dry, the terminals are closely linked and there is no sign of corrosion. If the battery is more than 4-5 years old, consider a replacement.
8. You will certainly meet wet and icy roads in the next few months, so make sure your tires are in good condition. The tread depth is at least 1.6 mm, but if it’s less than 3 mm, you may want to buy new tires to improve traction.
If you follow the above tips you can avoid problems and be better prepared for the winter as well.