While spring is typically reserved for cleaning, fall is the perfect time for doing some maintenance on your car. The days are cooler and the nights are longer, but fall is the best time before winter to get your car ready for the upcoming changes. If you have no idea where to start, Consumer Reports has the to-do list for you.
Fall is a great time to do one of your twice-a-year battery checks. When checking your battery make sure that the cables and terminals are snug in place and can be tightened if not. Also, check for signs of corrosion and remove and clean away any with a wire brush. If your battery has removable caps, check the distilled water levels and refill when needed.
If your vehicle will be parked for a long period of time, invest in a trickle charger to ensure that your battery is being recharged. Look in your car’s owner’s manual or in-store guide to ensure that you buy the right one.
Keep Your Headlights Bright
Cloudy and foggy headlights are common as cars age and are parked outside for long periods of time. Having cloudy lenses is a serious safety problem, decreasing the effects of your headlights by 80 percent. Good news: Consumer Reports suggests a headlight restoration kit that will prolong the life of any lens and help keep you safe.
Maintain Your Tires
The best way to maintain your tires is to drive responsibly. Part of driving responsibly is doing monthly tread checks on your tires. If you notice that you have a tread less than ⅛ inch, buy some new tires. You might also want to buy some winter tires if you live in a place where it snows and ices regularly since they will provide more traction than all-season tires.
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Protect Against the Elements
A good way to get your car ready for the new season is to wash away summer’s effect on your car. Clean up the layers of dirt, bugs, and droppings before fall and winter bring their own smudges. To take protection one step further, wax your car. Think of wax as a layer of protection for your car against the elements. Consumer Reports recommends waxing your car every two to three months to maintain protection.
With rain, and for some of us, snow coming soon it is important to look at your windshield wipers. If your wipers are leaving streaks, try cleaning them with a paper towel and glass cleaner. If you are still experiencing streaks, replace the blades. Windshield wiper blades need to be replaced every six to 12 months.
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