Because seasonal changes affect your vehicle in a multitude of ways, you'll want to keep up on regular vehicle maintenance, while also paying close attention to season-specific car care tasks. Fall is the ideal time for vehicle maintenance. Stay ahead and help your car transition into colder weather and rainy days ahead with our tips and services.
Check The Fluids
Checking your vehicle’s fluids is one of the most critical car care routines. The various fluids lubricate, cool, and perform other vital functions that help keep your car running and driving. Take a few minutes to check the underhood fluids, including the engine oil, coolant, and brake fluid. You’ll also want to check the automatic transmission fluid (if your car has a dipstick) and the power steering fluid (if your car has hydraulic power steering).
*Warning: Never remove the cooling system cap when the engine is hot. Severe injury may result. Only check the coolant level and condition when the engine is cool.
Many vehicles also have assemblies, such as the differential and transfer case, that are located underneath the vehicle. You should check the fluids in these units regularly. If you have the know-how, you can safely raise and support the vehicle, then check the fluids yourself. We highly recommend to book an appointment with our professionals to do the job for you.
Inspect The Tires
Tires are super important because they affect the braking ability, handling performance, and overall safety of your vehicle. Take a few moments to inspect your car’s tires to ensure they’re in good condition. First, you’ll want to check tread depth using a dedicated gauge:
Take the measurement at three points across the tire: the outer tread, the center tread, and the inner tread.
If there’s 4/32” of tread remaining at any point, most professionals recommend replacing the tires. A tread depth reading of 2/32” or less indicates the tires are a safety hazard and should be replaced immediately.
You should also check the tire pressure with a dedicated gauge. When checking the pressure, ensure that the tires are inflated to the specification listed on the placard inside the door jamb. Do NOT set the pressure to the reading on the tire’s sidewall—that’s the maximum pressure.
Tip: High-quality digital tire pressure gauges and dial-type gauges are far more accurate than cheap, pencil-style gauges.
If the pressure is too low, use an air compressor (or an air pump at the gas station) to add air. In the case that the pressure is too high, you can let air out of the tire by pressing down on the tip of the valve stem core with a pocket screwdriver.
Make Sure All The Lights Work
Sadly, the long summer days will soon be coming to an end. Because nighttime comes earlier during the fall, you’re more likely to be driving when it’s dark out. Before that happens, get a friend to help you make sure all of your car’s exterior lights (including the brake lights and reverse lights) are working correctly.
A non-functional light usually indicates a burnt-out bulb. While replacing a bulb is usually a simple task, there are instances where the job can be difficult. For example, on some vehicles, the front fascia must be removed to access the headlight bulb.
Bulb replacement instructions can usually be found in your car’s owner’s manual. By reviewing the instructions, you’ll get an idea of whether the job is something you can handle on your own.
You can always have a professional change the bulb if the task seems too difficult.
Tip: Many owner’s manuals are available for free digitally through the automaker’s website (e.g., Toyota.com).
Check The Wiper Blades
As we head into the rainy season, make sure your windshield wipers are up to par. Poorly functioning wipers are dangerous as they can leave streaks that obstruct your view. Make sure your wipers are working well, as they'll definitely be put to work over the fall months. After all, they call it Raincouver for a reason.
To check the wiper blades, turn on both the wipers and windshield washers. A good set of blades should produce a streak-free sweep and leave the windshield clear. Replace the wiper blades if they do not perform well.
You’ll also want to consider the washer fluid. There are winter blends, which are designed to resist freezing, and summer blends for warmer weather. When the temperatures start to drop, you’ll want to make sure you have a winter blend in your car’s washer fluid reservoir.
Inspect The Brakes
We don’t need to remind you of the importance of your car’s brakes, do we? Your car's breaks should be checked at least twice a year to ensure they’re in good condition. Right now, before winter time, is the perfect time to take a peek.
How do you know when your brake pads are worn out? When there’s 4mm of friction material remaining, most professionals recommend replacing the brake pads (and usually replacing or resurfacing the brake discs). A reading of 3mm or less indicates the brake pads are a safety hazard and should be replaced immediately.
Book an appointment and we will take care of it, to keep you and everyone else safe on the road.
Make Sure The Heather Is Working
It’s a good idea to test your vehicle’s heater before the temperatures start to drop. Automotive heating systems rely on hot engine coolant, so if the heater is blowing cold air, you likely have a problem somewhere within the cooling system. For example, the thermostat may be stuck open, the water pump may be faulty, or the heater core could be clogged.
During the colder months, your defroster helps to clear your windows, which affects your driving visibility. If your defroster isn't working properly, it will obstruct your view, creating a dangerous driving environment.
Do yourself a favour and check your heater. If you have the know-how, you can troubleshoot the problem yourself. Otherwise, you may want to have a professional diagnose and repair the issue. Give us a call or book online.
Regular maintenance of your car's heating system can also help reduce the amount of pollen, bacteria, and dust trapped in your car cabin. Since the heather, air conditioner and air filter of your car are all connected.
Accessorize For The Season
You might start accessorizing for the fall season by picking up, say, a fluffy scarf or warm beanie. While you’re at it, don’t forget that you can also accessorize your car with practical upgrades, such as floor mats and seat covers.
Give Us a Try! You Won't Be Disappointed
Come in to National Tire Wholesale to give your vehicle it's best maintenance at fair prices when you’re ready. We also have new rims and tires in Burnaby, BC. We have more styles than you can imagine!
We won't try to sell you anything you don't need. At National Tire Wholesale, you're in the driver's seat.
Call Us Today: 604.294.3788
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