Fall is here and the weather is changing in San Antonio. It’s a great time to prep your car for the coming temperature drops and changing road conditions. Keeping your vehicle maintained now is the best preventative measure you can take to avoid costly emergencies later.
Here is a handy fall vehicle maintenance checklist to get you started:
Get an Oil Change
Motor oil is essential to your vehicle’s maintenance. It keeps metal surfaces from grinding together, reduces heat from friction, and many other functions. It’s recommended to get an oil change every 3,000-5,000 miles, depending on your car and the type of driving you do. Check the owners manual to find out the optimal mileage for an oil change your particular vehicle.
Check the Battery
Take a good look at the battery connections and make sure they are clean, tight, and corrosion-free. If a connection becomes lose or there is corrosion this will affect the charging of the alternator.
Test the Heater, Defrosters, Wiper Blades
Before the temperatures drop, take time to test the heater, defrosters, and check the air filter. Although it varies per vehicle, it’s recommended to change your air filter every 30,000-45,000 miles. Make sure your wiper blades are not torn or cracked and that the wiper fluid is full. Wiper blades are recommended to be replaced every six months.
You’ll want to check the tire pressure as well as the tread depth on your tires. Check the owners manual for the proper tire pressure and be careful not to over or under inflate the tires. As temperatures drop, the air pressure changes in your tires so it’s smart to check them weekly. Also, look for uneven wear, bulges, and bald spots. An easy way to check tire tread is to insert a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of his head, it’s time to replace your tires.
This something you might want to have a mechanic look at. Have them check the brake linings, rotors, and drums to be sure they are in tip-top shape.
Check the Radiator Fluid
Radiator Fluid, or coolant, keeps the engine cool in the hotter months and also transfers heat to the inside of the car during the cooler months. Coolant should be changed every 2-5 years depending on the type of coolant used, and a full radiator flush is recommended once a year. You’ll want to check the hoses to make sure there are no rips or tears where leaking could be a problem.
Evaluate Belts and Hoses
Take a look at all the belts and hoses to see if there is any evidence of cracking, fraying, or leaking. Rips or leaks could cause major issues so if you see any signs of that take your car to a mechanic.
Test Headlights and Taillights
It’s hard to tell if one of your headlights or taillights are out. Take the time to make sure they are all bright and working otherwise you could have an accident or get a hefty ticket.
Take Preventative Measures Now
Why not take a little time to perform a few preventative measures to make sure your car is healthy and ready for the winter? Whether you perform the checks yourself or you take your vehicle to a mechanic, just a few checks now can save you from a costly emergency later.