Summer is over, and now that the weather is turning, it is a great time to get your vehicle ready for the upcoming colder months. Typically seasonal maintenance work is completed at a maintenance station, but we’re about to save you some of that money and hassle by gearing you up with some easy tips for a d0-it-yourself approach to get your car ready.
1. Change out your wiper blades
Some people are unaware of this, but according to the National Institute for Automotive Service of Excellence, wiper blades should be replaced at the very least annually. The majority of people tend to go years without changing out their blades, so it’s very likely that your blades are up for a replacement. Wipers of course are typically more used in the colder months as well, so it’s best to get them replaced in the fall before the weather changes.
Wiper blades tend to be very affordable, too. They usually run anywhere from $10-20. All you have to know ahead of time is which size to purchase which can be found in your owners manual or most stores will have an in-store sizing guide to measure them against.
2. Check your spare tire
Flat tires can come up completely unexpectedly. This is more of a reason to be sure you always have a dependable spare tire in tow. It is a good idea to periodically check the pressure in your spare tire to make sure that it will be useful should you ever get a flat tire.
3. Check your fluids
Make sure that your windshield-washer fluid levels are full. If you need to replace any amount, washer fluid will run you only $2 to $4.
Be sure to also check your antifreeze levels as well. Antifreeze will run anywhere from $10 to $16 per gallon.
Also, check your brake fluids. If this is too low, brake fluid, depending on the type you use will run you from$3.50 to $18.00 a bottle.
4. Replace the Air Filter
Just like wiper blades, this can be a task that a lot of people let slip through the cracks. We tend to not think about it much. Most people would be shocked though, to know that we actually should be replacing our air filters in our cars at least twice a year. If too much dust, dirt, etc gets into the filter, this can then restrict air flow. If the airflow is restricted, this can wreck havoc to the overall performance of your car including fuel economy, emissions, etc. Air filters range anywhere from $12-$55. This is one of the easiest maintenance repairs you can do yourself as it doesn’t even require tools.
5. Check your Battery and your Lights
If any ignition problems occur, it can be the result of corroded or even loose battery connections. If corrosion is shown, you can fix this by simply buying a brush at an auto parts store for $4. Take off the cables and then clean the terminals with the existing corrosion, then reconnect the cables.
Checking your lights is extremely important as well. You need to make sure that you will be able to see, and that your car can be seen while driving at night. If you notice that your bulbs are too dim, go to your nearest store and grab some replacement bulbs. These will be in the ballpark of $15 to $30 per bulb. Most vehicles will allow you to change these out easily and save you the cost of a mechanic doing the work.
Fall is upon us, and there’s no better time to check off all these maintenance tasks than right before the winter months hit us.