Time To Fall Back Into Your Auto Maintenance Routine

Time To Fall Back Into Your Auto Maintenance Routine

As summer winds down and​ fall begins in​ earnest, auto-care experts say that getting your​ vehicle serviced for​ cold-weather driving should be high on​ your​ list of​ things to​ do.

Here are some tips from the National Institute for​ Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) - the nonprofit group that certifies automotive technicians - on​ preparing your​ car for​ winter weather.

* Read your​ owner's manual and​ follow the manufacturer's recommended service schedules. Change your​ oil and​ oil filter as​ specified in​ your​ manual. Do this​ more often - every 3,000 miles or​ so - if​ your​ driving is​ mostly stop-and-go or​ consists of​ frequent short trips.

* Get problems such as​ hard starts, rough idling, stalling and​ diminished power corrected at​ a​ good repair shop. Cold weather will make existing problems worse.

* Replace all dirty filters.

* Put a​ bottle of​ fuel de-icer in​ your​ tank once a​ month to​ help keep moisture from freezing in​ the fuel line. Keep your​ gas tank filled to​ help prevent moisture from forming.

* Have the cooling system flushed and​ refilled as​ recommended. Periodically check the level, condition​ and​ concentration​ of​ the coolant.

* Have a​ certified auto technician check the tightness and​ condition​ of​ drive belts, clamps and​ hoses.

* Make sure that the heater and​ defroster are in​ good working condition.

* as​ part of​ routine battery care, scrape away corrosion​ from posts and​ cable connections; clean all surfaces, then re-tighten all connections. if​ the battery caps are removable, check the fluid level monthly.

Note that removal of​ cables can cause damage or​ loss of​ data on​ some newer vehicles, so check your​ manual. Also, be sure to​ avoid contact with corrosive deposits and​ battery acid; wear eye protection​ and​ rubber gloves.

* Examine the exhaust system for​ leaks. The trunk and​ floorboards should be inspected for​ small holes.

* Examine the tires' tread and​ look for​ uneven wearing and​ cupping. Also, check the sidewalls for​ cuts and​ nicks. Rotate the tires as​ recommended.

* Check tire pressure once a​ month. Let the tires "cool down" before checking them. Don't forget to​ check your​ spare, and​ be sure the jack is​ in​ good condition.

* Prepare for​ emergencies. Stock your​ car with gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a​ small shovel, sand​ or​ cat litter, tire chains, a​ flashlight and​ a​ cell phone. Put a​ few "high energy" snacks in​ your​ glove box, too.

Time To Fall Back Into Your Auto Maintenance Routine

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