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Ladies Auto Know…The How-To’s For Fall Car Care

     Linear-Fall Pic While your vehicle may (or may not) have cruised right on through summer, cold weather will set in before you even realize the leaves have fallen. It’s important to remember that vehicles need seasonal adjusting. Autumn is a great time for automotive maintenance and repair (Carcare.org has even named October as Fall Car Care Month). It gives us time to repair the wear and tear of summer and allows us to prepare for the cold winter days ahead. Following a simple checklist will save drivers time and money by extending the life of their vehicle and ensuring safer operation. To keep your car in top shape and running smoothly as we transition into cooler months, check into the big tips listed below:

  • Tires Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressure once a month (more often when the temperatures get to freezing). Rotate tires as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Can’t remember? If you know it’s been 5,000 miles since they were last rotated, then go ahead and have your technician do so. Under-inflated tires or poorly aligned wheels makes your engine work harder and thus use EXCESS GASOLINE.
  • Engine PerformanceGet engine drivability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc) corrected now. Cold weather will only make these existing problems worse. A tune-up should correct these issues. A poorly running engine is less efficient and burns more gas. All fluid levels should also be checked and topped off/replaced as needed.
  • OilChange your oil and oil filter as specified in your Fall-Car-Care-01manual–more often if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips. A recent poll of ASE Master Auto Technicians revealed that regular oil and filter changes is one of the most frequently neglected services. Which is ironic, considering this is ESSENTIAL to protect your engine! Also, lower temperatures can add stress on your engine. A switch to synthetic oil wouldn’t hurt either. It is specifically designed to protect your engine in wide temperature ranges.
  • Battery – The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care you may be able to handle yourself: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly. A word of caution though: Removal of cables can cause damage or loss of data/codes on some newer vehicles. Check your manual. Be sure to avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves, or better yet, bring your car to us and have our ASE certified technicians check it out for you!
  • Exhaust System – Your vehicle should be placed on a lift and the exhaust system examined for leaks. The trunk and floorboards should be inspected for small holes. Exhaust fumes can be deadly.
  • Heater/Defroster  The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility. Stock up on windshield washer solvent (you’ll be surprised at how much you use) Even during the Texas winter, you will definitely benefit from carrying an ice scraper in your glove box.
  • LightsEnsure visibility by checking and replacing any and all burnt out bulbs.
  • Cooling System – While coolant may be associated with warmer weather, a vehicle’s coolant is equally important in the cold months ahead to ensure the vehicle can withstand the temperatures.

Is your vehicle in it for the long haul? Take care of it and it will take care of you! All of the components listed above can be checked and repaired as needed by one of our ASE certified technicians here at Linear Automotive. Peace of mind in the harsh winter will take you a long way!

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