Come winter’s icy grip, or the summer’s scorching sun, perhaps the cascade of raindrops in fall and spring, your car weathers it all.
Like many things in life, there’s seasonality to car repair.
We’ll explore how seasonal weather can wreak havoc on your car and equip you with savvy tips for vehicle maintenance, to help you navigate other Nature’s moods.
1. Rain or Shine: Fall-Proof Your Vehicle
As the leaves start to fall and the weather shifts, roads become wetter, and days become darker. It’s a good time to service your car before winter sets in.
Here are some tips to prep your vehicle for the unique challenges of the fall season:
- Rain-Ready: Ensure wipers, defrosters, and headlights work optimally for rainy days. Inspect and replace blades for clear visibility in rain and fog.
- Tire Inspection: Check tread depth and tire pressure for better traction on wet roads.
- Brake Repair: Make sure your brakes work and have enough padding for road trips. You’d want them at the peak performance to deal with wet roads.
- Visibility Check: Confirm all lights are functional for safe driving during darker evenings.
- Cabin Air Filter Swap: Consider changing your cabin air filter for clean and fresh air in your vehicle, especially if allergies act up due to fallen leaves and pollen.
- Clear Drains and Gutters: Remove leaves and debris from your vehicle’s drains and gutters to prevent water damage.
People often wait until the last minute to service their vehicles before leaving town. You may end up paying more if you wait until a week prior to a major holiday to have your car checked. So, get it done in October and November to save time and money.
2. Winter Chills: How to Keep Your Ride Rolling
Winter can be brutal on your car, from the bone-chilling temperatures to treacherous, unpredictable icy roads.
However, a few essential preparations can make all the difference:
- Coolant Check: Ensure your antifreeze is at the right concentration to prevent freezing.
- Battery Inspection: Have your battery tested, as cold weather can put extra strain on it.
- Winter Tires: Switch to winter tires for better traction on icy roads, and inflate them to the recommended pressure.
- Oil Change: Consider switching to a lower-viscosity oil in extremely cold weather. It helps your engine start smoothly in freezing temperatures.
- Inspect Lights and Wipers: Reduced daylight hours and inclement weather make proper lighting and wipers essential. All lights should work; replace wiper blades if they streak your windshield.
- Fuel Up: Keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent freezing fuel lines.
Also, applying winter driving techniques can help you better adapt to snowy, icy conditions. You’ll be able to tackle the cold season effectively, ensuring your safety and your vehicle’s reliability.
3. Revive and Thrive: Springtime TLC
As winter fades, give your car some essential spring care to shrug off winter’s wear and tear:
- Cleaning: Remove salt and grime buildup from the winter and freshen up the interior.
- Air Filter Swap: Replace your air filters to ensure your cabin air stays clean and pollen-free to combat allergies.
- Tire Inspection: Check tire tread and pressure for safe driving in spring showers.
- Brakes and Suspension: Check your brakes and suspension system after the winter’s wear and tear.
- Rain-Ready Wipers: Prepare for spring showers with new wiper blades.
- Fluid Check: Ensure sufficient fluid levels for optimal performance.
Having your car serviced in early spring is a good idea, as summer is peak time for mechanics and body shops. With people prepping for vacations and road trips, auto shops tend to be busiest in late spring and through the summer — rates may hike during this time.
4. Hot Wheels: Beat the Summer Heat
When the mercury rises, your car will need extra care to stay cool and reliable.
Here are some crucial summer maintenance tasks:
- A/C Function: Ensure your air conditioning works efficiently to beat the summer heat.
- Cooling System Check: With the impending heat, it becomes even more important than your radiator, and coolant keeps your engine cool.
- Tire Care: Hot asphalt can stress your tires. Monitor tire pressure and tread, especially for summer road trips.
- Battery Health: The heat can affect your battery’s performance, as cold weather does. Inspect battery connections and consider a checkup to avoid heat-related issues.
- Fluid Check: Regularly check fluid levels like oil, coolant, and brake fluid for optimal performance.
- Interior Protection: Shield your car’s interior from sun damage with shades and window tint.
- Exterior Protection: Park in the shade to shield your car from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Use a car cover or apply UV protection on outer surfaces to prevent fading and sun damage.
One more thing to think of:
The best time to bring your car for service is (usually) before noon on weekdays. Mechanics are busiest in the afternoon, trying to get everyone’s cars back by the end of the day. Weekends are busy, too, since most people have time to take their vehicle in on these days.
Of course, you could also contact AutoNation Mobile Service, and our mobile mechanics will service your car right in your driveway.