As summer begins to change to fall, it’s time to care for your vehicle so that it is prepared for the coming trials of the winter season. Here’s what you need to know.
Understand that Each Vehicle Is Different
Every vehicle is different and has different maintenance requirements. For instance, the first vehicle that Henry Ford ever built was a quadricycle. It was based on a 4-horsepower engine, gearbox, tiller, and four bicycle wheels. This type of vehicle required continual maintenance to keep it running. Today’s vehicles mostly require yearly maintenance to perform at peak performance. For instance, most BMWs require service once a year or every 5,000-7,500 miles. This not only helps performance but contributes to the longevity of the vehicle. While you may want to focus your time on gardening, there are several areas that you should check before the harsh winter season sets in.
Check Your Tires
While you should perform a cursory inspection of your tires every time that you get gas, take the time once a year to have a professional examine the tread and wear. If there is less than 1/8 inch of tread, they will need to be replaced. Depending on the weather conditions where you live, your automotive specialist may recommend all-season performance tires. Identifying any areas of weakness in the sidewalls or tread wear can prevent being stuck in inclement weather.
Check the Battery
While most of the time you may not think about your vehicle’s battery, it does occasionally need to be serviced. Have the battery, its cables and terminals inspected periodically can prevent damage from occurring and extend its lifespan. Your technician may need to remove any signs of corrosion and check for any signs of damage. They will also check the water levels and refill as needed. This guidance includes any stored vehicles that you may have. They will need to be occasionally driven, or you can invest in a trickle charger to maintain the battery life. When it comes time to replace the battery, make sure that you are replacing it with the recommended size for your model.
Over time, a vehicle’s headlights can become cloudy from exposure to the elements. This can reduce their efficiency by as much as 80%. This is particularly important when the vehicle is driven at night. This poses a risk to your safety on the road. If the headlights appear to be damaged or hazy, it may be time to replace them. Fortunately, this is a quick and cost-effective repair. During the long winter months, effective headlights become even more important when weather conditions such as rain and snow can inhibit visibility.
Check the Condition of the Wiper Blades
Over time, the condition of wiper blades will deteriorate. During the winter season, poor wipers can make it difficult to adequately clear the windshield. This means replaces them once a year or when needed. If they seem to be in fair condition, try cleaning them with glass cleaner to extend their life. Having wipers in good condition can help improve visibility while driving, particularly during a rainy month or periods of seasonal weather patterns.
Taking a few moments to check your vehicle can keep your family safe on the road. While you may not be driving a high-performance vehicle like an AC Cobra Coupe, taking the time to ensure the overall health of your vehicle can keep you safe on the road during winter. On an interesting note, in 1964, the AC Cobra Coupe was clocked on a British motorway at 186 mph. You may not have that level of assistance but with a few quick checks, you can ensure that your vehicle continues to perform at optimal levels.