Seven Ways to Prepare Your Vehicle for Fall
Here are five steps for making sure your car is ready to handle whatever autumn and winter throw at it.
1) Change Your Wiper Blades
When do you use your wiper blades the most? In the cooler months! Whether that is down the highway in a late-season thunderstorm, wiping off falling snow, or clearing off the frost from your windshield to see during your morning commute to work, your wipers serve their greatest purpose at this time of year.
Do your wipers smear the glass or leave behind streaks as they go across your windshield? Do your wipers make a horrible racket, indicating they are no longer making full contact with the glass? If so, you need to replace them sooner rather than later.
Even if your wiper blades seem to be working fine now, it is recommended to replace them at least once a year. As we enter the fall, this would be a good time to get new wiper blades.
Fresh wiper blades will endure the weather ahead. Just remember to select a set that is the exact kind you need for the make and model of your car.
2) Check Your Tires
At this time of year, your tires are as important as any part of your vehicle. Your tires need to be in prime condition to endure road conditions this fall. Your tires are the only vehicle components that make contact with the road, so when the weather deteriorates, they need to be able to handle rain, snow, and ice.
Another thing to watch out for is that when the temperatures fall below freezing, your internal tire pressure gauge may act up. Carry a handheld tire pressure gauge with you to check tire pressures manually. Do not let seeing the indicator light every morning make you complacent.
3) Check Your Fluid Levels
One thing that is sure to send your vehicle to the show is running with low fluid levels for too long. There are several different fluids to check in your car:
- Brake Fluid
- Motor oil
- Power-steering fluid
- Transmission fluid
- Windshield wiper fluids
It is important to follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations regarding how much fluid you need. Remember that antifreeze is necessary for the colder months looming ahead.
Top off your fluids before winter, or you could end up in the shop when the weather turns frigid.
4) Make Sure Your Heater Works
You have probably not used your heater during the summer months. You’ve been blasting A/C and riding with the windows down, forgetting all about what it’s like in the mountains during winter. Those times of using your air conditioning are drawing to a close.
Before you wake up with frost on the windshield, you will want to make sure your vehicle’s heating system is performing well.
If there is dust, leaves, and other debris in the vents, or if there is a leak in your heater core, this could prevent your heater from warming you up during the frigid mornings and chilly evenings of the fall. It’s best to check it now before you need it, which will likely be very soon.
5) Check Your Battery
There are few things worse for drivers than having your battery die while you’re on the side of the road in below-freezing temperatures. The battery is the heartbeat of your vehicle. The demand on your car’s battery is higher as the weather gets colder. If your battery is struggling now, you could be in trouble sooner than you think.
This is the best time to get your battery checked. Are your headlights starting to dim? Is your car making a funny (or not so funny) noise when you turn the key? These could be signs that your battery is in bad shape and needs attention soon.
6) Have Dents, Dings, and Scratch Paint Repaired Now
There have already been a few flakes of snow flying on Mount Mitchell. While it’s hard to believe this year has flown by so quickly, summer is over, and snow and ice are right around the corner. In the higher elevations of Buncombe, Madison, Haywood, and Jackson counties, measurable snow can fall as early as October.
When winter weather threatens, the roads and parking lots of western North Carolina will be treated with salt and brine. If you have any dents, dings, or scratched paint, salt will wreak havoc on your vehicle’s body. Once rust sets in, there is little you can do, so have those dents and dings repaired before winter hits hard.
7) Know Where You Will Send Your Car if You Experience an Accident
They say if you want the weather to change in western North Carolina, wait five minutes. While that statement could be true almost anywhere, here in the mountains, it might be more accurate to say, “drive five miles.” The diverse elevation in our area can make for radically different conditions from one place to another.
Accidents are inevitable. If you find yourself in a fall fender bender, make sure you know where you can take your vehicle for fast and efficient repairs.
How First Aid Collision Helps
First Aid Collision is a full-service collision shop in the south Asheville area. Our customer-friendly team specializes in auto body repairs like body rebuilding, dent repairs and scratch removals, windshield replacements, and so much more.
First Aid Collision provides a sense of convenience and ease for each customer. Get your vehicle ready for Autumn with the help of the First Aid Collision team. Contact us today.