Now that the kids are back in school, the road trips and vacations are wrapped up for the year. During this lull in the schedule, take the time to get your car some annual maintenance and keep it running reliably through the fall and winter weather.
Here are some tips for end of summer car maintenance:
- Check the owner’s manual that came with your car for recommendations from the manufacturer about which areas should receive maintenance and when. Some of them are based on miles driven, and others are based on how long you own the car.
- Keep track of your engine’s performance and take it into a mechanic if there are any symptoms such as: rough idling, hard starts, and diminished power). Once the cold weather arrives, these problems will get worse.
- Check with your auto care professional to see if a fuel de-icer might be beneficial to your car’s engine. These products help to keep any moisture from freezing in the fuel line. This can also be helped by keeping your gas tank full during the winter months.
- Make sure to keep your car on the recommended schedule for oil and filter changes. For most cars this is every 3,000 miles. This should be done more often, however, if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or a bunch of short trips.
- Have your cooling system flushed and refilled as recommended in your owner’s manual. The level, concentration, and condition of the coolant should be checked now and then to make sure it is a mix of 50/50 anti-freeze and water. This is also the time to have hoses, clamps, and drive belts or chains.
- Now that the weather is going to be getting cooler, this is a good time to check the heater and defroster on your car as well. Make sure that all is in good working condition so that when you climb into your car on the first frosty day of the year, your windshield is easily and quickly defrosted and you can get on your way.
Annual maintenance for your car is essential to safe and reliable travel. Make sure that you take some time before the fall and winter weather arrives to get your car maintenance and ready for the season.