Your vehicle is a finely tuned machine, much like the human body, that needs fluids to run. You should check all fluids, including your oil, power steering fluid, brake, and transmission fluid. It’s not a bad idea to check your windshield washer fluid to keep your windshield clear and your antifreeze/coolant to keep your engine from freezing up.
2. Hoses and Belts
These are vital to keeping your vehicle running smoothly. Summer heat can do a number on belts. Be sure that they won’t fail you when you need them most by checking for leaks and tightening them, or inspecting belts for signs of excessive wear, cracks, brittleness, fraying, or looseness.
3. Check Your Battery
Excessive heat from the summer can sap your car battery’s charge, and you won’t know until it’s too cold to do anything about it. If your battery isn’t charging and discharging correctly, replace it. Make sure your connections are clean, tight, and free from corrosion.
4. Brake System
In the cold and snowy months to come, you’ll be relying on your brakes in a variety of driving conditions. Be confident that they are up to the task. You should have then inspected before heading into the icy months of winter, but you should also have the brake linings, rotors, and drums inspected at each oil change.
5. Exhaust System
If your vehicle has an exhaust leak, it could be potentially dangerous to drive as exhaust contains carbon monoxide. Have your exhaust system inspected for rust, holes, leaks, or other damage. Signs you may have an exhaust problem include unusual noises, poor fuel mileage, strange fumes or smells, a vibrating gas pedal, and rumbling when idle.
6. Check the HVAC
It might not seem necessary to have a working AC when the temperature is below zero, but the HVAC system cools, heats, cleans, ventilates, and dehumidifies the interior of your vehicle. Not only is it essential for the comfort of you and your passengers, but it’s critical for defrosting and keeping your windows clear of ice, fog, and snow.
7. Steering and Suspension
The back roads can be harsh on your suspension and steering systems. Get them checked annually including shock absorbers, struts, and chassis parts like ball joints, tie rod ends, and other related components.
8. Check the Tires
Before the first snow is the time to check your tires to be sure they’re ready for harsh winter driving conditions. Your tires should have adequate tread for traction. If you need new tires, VIP guarantees the lowest price every day. Be sure to check your tire pressure regularly. Tire pressure drops 1-2 pounds for every 10 degrees in temperature. You should inspect your tires for any bulges and bald spots. Signs of uneven wear usually means there’s a need for a wheel alignment.
9. Check Wipers and Lights
When the weather turns bad, you’ll want to be able to see AND be seen. Check to make sure that all interior and exterior lights are working because the days are only getting shorter. If your wipers are squeaking or leaving streaks, it’s time to replace them. Consider investing in a pair of winter wipers made for the snow, ice, and colder temperatures of winter.