October is National Fall Car Care Month

October is National Fall Car Care Month. Every year, the Car Care Council designates two months out of the year to bring awareness to the importance of regular car care – one in the spring and one in the fall. In the springtime, winter is ending and cars should be prepared for spring driving and summer road trips. This April, drivers were encouraged to ensure their brakes, windshield wipers, and tires were ready for the rain.

On the other hand, fall is the time to prepare for winter driving hazards such as icy roads and snow, and there are a variety of car features you should be checking to determine your vehicle’s maintenance needs. We’ve provided a list of some items you can check; though many can be done by you in less than an hour, it’s recommended that you have a certified technician assess your vehicle and make any needed repairs.

To prepare for winter driving, be sure to check some of the following items:

  • Battery and charging system: Your battery must be fully charged and in optimal condition if you wish to use your vehicle in cold weather. Your battery terminals and cables should also not be corroded.
  • Tire pressure: While drivers should be checking their tire inflation pressure regularly, it’s especially important to check more frequently in fall and winter. When the temperature outside drops, so does tire pressure.
  • Tire type and tread: Depending on where you live, you might want to install snow tires on all four wheels. Tires that have less than 3/32 inches of tread should be replaced.
  • Lights: To prepare for darker nighttime driving, replace any burnt-out bulbs and make sure all your lights are working correctly, including headlights, taillights, turn signals, emergency flashers, back-up lights, and brake lights.
  • Wiper blades and washer fluid: Are your wiper blades leaving streaks or missing spots? Consider replacing them or installing winter wiper blades, which can help prevent snow and ice buildup. Make sure you replace your washer fluid with a winter cleaning solution that can prevent the fluid from freezing in cold weather.
  • Brakes: Having a certified technician check your brakes to ensure everything is working correctly is always a good idea, regardless of the season.
  • Emergency road kit: All drivers should have an emergency road kit prepped, including for winter weather. Some items your kit should have include drinking water, a first-aid kit, snow shovel, blankets, flashlight with batteries, jumper cables, warning devices like flares or triangles, and more.

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