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The heat of summer is over and the deep freeze of winter is just right around the corner. Now is the perfect time to take care of your car for the autumn chill ahead.
Here are a few things you can do to prepare your car for the cooler weather ahead.
Change Your Air Filter
Dust and pollen accumulates in your air filter all summer long and a dirty filter decreases airflow, horsepower and engine performance. Autumn is the perfect time to give your car a breath of fresh air. Replacing an air filter on most cars is very easy; it takes about 30 minutes and generally requires no tools. It is one of the quickest, inexpensive do-it-yourself maintenance owners can do on their car.
Check the Battery
Extreme cold weather can zap car batteries of the power needed to start and run a car. Batteries older than 3 or 4 years are more susceptible to fail, especially if they are having trouble starting a car during warm weather. Have your battery checked by your local mechanic to make sure it is in good working order. Replace it if necessary. Also, don`t forget to carry jumper cables in your car in case your battery fails.
Check the Tires
Tires need autumn attention. Check your tires to make sure that they are properly inflated and have enough tread to provide sufficient wet traction. If you live in a climate that gets snow or ice in winter, make sure the tires are rated "all-season," at a minimum. In very snowy areas, be sure to exchange summer or all-season tires this fall with snow tires before the first snowfall. Some states won`t allow cars on the road when they are covered with snow unless snow tires and/or chains are installed on the vehicle, so don`t procrastinate. Check with your state`s highway department for further information.
Check the Engine
The oil, antifreeze, belts and hoses should be checked during your autumn car check-up. Oil should be changed regularly to keep an engine running at its maximum efficiency. Antifreeze should last between 2 to 5 years, depending on the type. If it`s been awhile since you`ve had it changed, take it to the mechanic to have it checked. At the same time, have your mechanic check hoses for leaks and belts for signs of stress.
Check Wiper Blades and Washer Fluid
Wiper blades tend to only last one to two years, so if they haven`t been replaced recently, be sure to replace them before the autumn rains arrive. While you are at the auto store buying new wiper blades, pick up several gallons of washer fluid. You will likely go through it as autumn`s road grime turns to winter salt spray.
By following these tips, you will be less likely to have problems this autumn and you will be more prepared for winter.