Autumn is the time to get out your boots, jackets, and scarves and button up for chillier days and nights.
Your vehicle also needs different attention to face seasonal challenges like wet conditions, less daylight, and keeping you warm inside! The auto service technicians at Liberty Auto Center, with two Maryland locations in Rockville and Gaithersburg, offer some tips on keeping your car, van, or truck in peak condition.
Liberty Auto Centers Fall Car Care Checklist
- Check the tires and brakes: Inclement weather can cause hazardous road conditions which require good stopping power. This task falls squarely on your tires and brakes. Make sure tires have good tread on them, and if they are showing wear and tear they should be reviewed for replacement. Cold weather can reduce air pressure, so make sure tires are inflated to the recommended manufacturer levels. Likewise with brakes, make sure the pads aren’t overly worn and brake fluid levels are sufficiently full.
- Have the battery checked: Your car battery produces less current when it gets cold and has to work harder to get the engine started, so keeping it fully charged is extra important in the fall and into the winter months. Have the battery and charging system inspected by a trained professional at Liberty Auto Centers, and look for signs of corrosion on the battery terminals or cable ends or loose connections – these are red flags that your battery needs attention.
- Ensure proper functioning of the heater/defroster: You walk through the chilly rain to get to your car, and you want to warm up inside – plus be able to see out through the windows! Driving with an improperly working heater isn’t safe (or comfortable). Fogged-up windows impair vision and sightlines, and can be an accident waiting to happen. Regularly inspect the front and rear window defrosters to make certain they are in proper working condition.
- Examine the wiper blades and lights: Wiper blades are a critical safety tool. Their purpose is to completely clear the windshield for visibility. Cracked or worn blades won’t do an adequate job. Check the blade’s rubber to ensure it is flexible and operate the wipers to see that the blades clear the glass of moisture or debris. With shorter days and earlier sunsets, your vehicle’s lights are more important than ever. Walk around the outside of the car and check the cleanliness and operation of the headlights, taillights, parking lights, brake lights, and emergency flashers.
- Inspect under the hood: Popping the hood and taking a look will allow you to identify any obvious signs of wear or items needing repair or replacement. Be on the lookout for leaks, cracks, or loose clamps in the cooling system, spongy or brittle hoses, and fraying drive belts. If you’ve noticed any engine noises or experienced sputtering or other engine problems, have a licensed mechanic from Liberty Auto Centers thoroughly inspect the engine and make any necessary repairs.
- Check all fluid levels: The experts at both the Flower Hill and Redland Liberty Auto Center locations recommend checking the coolant level in the overflow tank when the engine is cold. If the level is too low, add a 50/50 solution of water and coolant to allow proper antifreeze capability. Likewise, inspect the washer, transmission, brake, and power steering fluids. Make sure they are all at or above minimum safe levels and refill as necessary.
Remember, a little preventative maintenance can go a long way towards avoiding major car repairs, as well as potential accidents due to low performance and functionality. If you live in Maryland, prepare your vehicle for the fall season by scheduling an appointment with the car care pros at Liberty Auto Centers in Rockville and Gaithersburg. Grab a car wash and detailing while you’re here as well!Tags: Fall Car Care