As the calendar turns to October and the start of fall is upon us, now is a good reminder that October is Fall Car Care Month.

October is a good time to assess the condition of your car and determine if it needs maintenance.  It has been through a long summer with continued exposure to the hot weather, and maybe a long trip or two mixed in.  Now is the time to take your car in for any work that may need to be done before the winter weather arrives.  It feels a long way off right now, but the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting that two-thirds of the country will encounter a colder-than-normal season.

So with that in mind, October’s a good time to get your car inspected at Milex Complete Auto Care or Mr. Transmission before the winter weather and holidays arrive. You may want to stop in at Alta Mere and see some of the products and services for your car. For instance, a vehicle wrap could protect your car’s paint from the winter elements.

Here are some things that should be checked out during Fall Car Care Month.

Fluids. It isn’t just engine oil, but the power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and of course, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.

Hoses and belts. They shouldn’t be cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or looking long in the tooth.

Battery. You really don’t want to see your battery die, especially when the weather turns colder as we approach winter.

Brakes. Brake performance can gradually decrease over time.  Make sure they’re inspected and can allow you to stop the car quickly in case of an emergency.

The exhaust system. You will want to look for any kind of leaks and damage. This is the sort of thing that can permanently damage your car if it isn’t repaired.

The engine.  Your engine’s performance needs to be checked because you want to make sure it is delivering the best balance of power and fuel economy and producing the lowest level of emissions.

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning. By the end of the summer, you will know the status of your air conditioning.  You want to make sure your heat works before it is too late and your system has the proper ventilation.

Steering and suspension system. Shock absorbers, struts, ball joints and other items should be inspected at least once a year.

Tires. The tire pressure needs to be whatever your car manual recommends. The tread needs to be looked at. If you have uneven wear, you may need a wheel alignment. Look for bald spots on the tire. If you’re driving on ice later, a bald spot can be extremely dangerous.

Wipers and lighting. It only takes a minute to check, but make sure you have enough windshield wiper fluid, and your wipers are in good condition with no cracks or rips.  Do a quick 360 around the car to make sure each of your lights are in proper working order.

Be sure to take some time this month to make sure your car has stood up to the extended summer heat and is prepared to brave the elements of winter.  By having your vehicle inspected now, you will reduce the risk of a problem down the road, especially if that road is covered with snow and ice.


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