Preventative Car Maintenance Tips for the Changing Seasons
A car is an important asset in today’s society, and it’s imperative that you keep it in good condition for your own and others’ safety. Having a car can be great for getting to work, picking up groceries, and running errands. Still, car service and car repair and maintenance can be a hassle, especially if you live in a region with the seasons. Since the seasons will change, your car needs to be monitored and cared for accordingly. Doing so can help prevent significant issues like carburetor icing during winter months or overheating during summer. Here are some car maintenance tips for those that live in areas with changing seasons
- Battery Check: Keeping your battery charged is the first thing to do before any season. Driving habits will change depending on the season. During winter months, you’ll want to start the car up more often as it’s very likely that you’ll be in stop-and-go traffic for more extended periods. This can quickly drain your battery, and if you don’t catch it, you could find yourself stranded with a dead battery, looking for a car service near me.
- Brake Inspection: It can be easy to overlook brake fluid, but it’s one of the most essential parts of your car. Inspect it every few months to ensure it’s at least working and prevent fluid leaks, corrosion, and excessive wearing down. During winter months, you’ll need to take extra precautions. Don’t skimp out on brake maintenance; always keep an eye on your brake fluid. Even if you don’t think changing the fluid in your car is necessary, do it. Old and neglected brake fluids can seriously affect the quality of your brakes.
- Engine Oil Change: Changing engine oil is not only a good practice before spring, but during the summer as well. Summer heat can cause the oil to break down, and by changing it when necessary, you’re lowering the chances that oil can get into the engine and cause damage. Also, check your oil before replacing the filter, showing if your engine suffers from oil contamination issues.
- Transmission Fluid Flush: Changing the transmission fluid is important, especially when the weather gets warm because it helps to keep the transmission lubricated and provides an excellent protective barrier. During the winter, you may want to flush more regularly as you’ll be making stops at many stop signs and red lights, which can build up a lot of friction on your transmission.
- Heating and Air Conditioning: If you’ve got air conditioning, keep it serviced before winter sets in. The air conditioning will work harder, and as such, your vehicle’s engine may need some extra care and attention in order not to burn out. It will also help keep your engine cool in the summer heat.
- Checking Your Tires: Another car service maintenance task to check is your tires. In the hot summer months, you’ll want to keep an eye out for cracks in the rubber. If you see them, get them repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Not only does a crack decrease traction, but it can lead to tire blowouts and accidents, which can cause serious injuries.
- Timing Belt Inspection: When it comes to the car repair service, timing belt maintenance is vital to keep your vehicle running properly, and you’ll want to ensure that when the first snowfall hits, you’ve checked your water pump, belt, and pulleys for any damage. This is especially important for vehicles with automatic transmissions as they often need the timing belt changed before winter.
- Check the Lights: You’ll want to find car repair services to check whether the headlights and taillights are working correctly, especially if you leave for work or school before it’s fully light outside and driving in the dark. In the summer, you will also want to remember to check your headlights as often as possible because they can get damaged from the heat and the sun. Winter is often accompanied by mist, which can make it hard to see; therefore, you’ll need to ensure that your lights are functioning properly.
- Engine Lubrication
- Automatic Transmissions: You should always get your automatic transmission serviced before winter. This will ensure that it’s adequately lubricated, preventing unnecessary wear and tear on the vehicle.
- Manual Transmissions: Check your manual transmission fluid level to ensure it is neither too high nor too low. If it’s too low, fill it up with the proper oil and if it’s too high, drain some out until it’s right at the full mark.
You should strive to do your part to help keep your vehicle running safely and efficiently. Doing this will not only benefit you but everyone around you and can make it easier to travel during the winter months. If everyone were able to maintain their cars properly, car accidents would be reduced, especially in the winter. Also, ensure you go to a trusted and reliable mechanic whenever your vehicle is inspected or worked on. There are many people that consider themselves ‘mechanics.’ They are normally not adequately trained and lack the experience to correctly clear a car maintenance service checklist and get your car to proper working condition.