Fall Car Care Is In Full Swing!

Preventative maintenance now can help ensure worry-free driving this winter. The vacations are over, the kids are back in school and cooler evenings have begun. Breakdowns, never convenient, can be dangerous in cold weather period.

The following tips should give parents and students alike a road map to fall car care:

First things first

Read your owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedules. There are usually two schedules listed: normal and severe.

Engine Performance

Have engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a Elite Automotive & Tire Center. Cold weather will make existing problems worse. Replace dirty filters: air, fuel, PCV, etc.

FuelNote, that a gas tank that’s kept filled helps prevent moisture from forming in the first place.

Oil Change

Your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual more often (every 3,000 miles or so) if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips.

Cooling System

The cooling system should be flushed and refilled as recommended. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by one of our certified auto technicians.

Heater/Defroster

The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility.

Windshield Wipers

Replace old blades. Carry an ice-scraper.

Battery

The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. But do-it-yourselfers can do routine maintenance. Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections.

Lights

Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all lenses with a moistened cloth or towel. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.

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.

Tires

Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Stop in and let our technicians examine your tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressure once a month. Let the tires “cool down” before checking the pressure. Rotate as recommended. Don’t forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition.

Emergencies

Carry gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, a flashlight, and a cell phone. Put a few “high-energy” snacks in your glove box.


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