AUGUSTA, GA. (WFXG) -Seasonal changes can have a harmful effect on a vehicle’s performance. October is an ideal time to get your vehicle ready for some cooler temperatures. AAA recommends a complete vehicle checkup to maintain safety and maximize performance.
It’s important to check your vehicle’s battery, breaks, tire pressure and tread. Make sure to check all fluids and replace any burnt-out bulbs on your vehicle. If your wiper blades leave any streaks, it’s time to replace them.
Here’s a look at AAA Fall Car Care Checklist:
- Battery and charging system — Have the battery and charging system tested by a trained technician. A fully charged battery in good condition is required to start an engine in cold weather.
- Engine hoses — Inspect cooling system hoses for leaks, cracks or loose clamps. Also, squeeze the hoses and replace any that are brittle or excessively spongy feeling.
- Tire type and tread — Replace any tire that has less than 3/32-inches of tread. Uneven tire wear can indicate alignment, wheel balance or suspension problems that must be addressed to prevent further tire damage.
- Tire pressure — Check tire inflation pressure. As the average temperature drops, so will tire pressures, typically by 1 PSI for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The proper tire pressure levels can be in the owner’s manual or on a sticker typically located on the driver’s side door jamb. Also, check the spare.
- Air filter — Check the engine air filter by holding it up to a 60-watt light bulb. If light can be seen through much of the filter, it is still clean enough to work effectively. However, if the light is blocked, replace it.
- Coolant levels — Check the coolant level in the overflow tank when the engine is cold. If the level is low, add a 50/50 solution of coolant and water to maintain the necessary antifreeze capability. Test the antifreeze protection level with an inexpensive tester.
- Lights — Check the operation of all headlights, tail lights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, and back-up lights. Replace any burnt-out bulbs.
- Wiper blades — The blades should completely clear the glass with each swipe. Replace any blade that leaves streaks or misses spots.
- Washer fluid — A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Make sure you fill the windshield washer fluid reservoir.
- Brakes — If there is any indication of a brake problem have the system inspected by a certified technician. Check all fluids (transmission, brake and power steering fluids) to ensure they are at or above the minimum safe levels.
- Emergency road kit — Carry an emergency kit equipped for winter weather. Make sure to include a charged cellular phone, blankets, food, water and any needed medication.
Give your vehicle a little extra care with these cooler temperatures rolling in.