Summer is almost over! Vacations have been fun and you’ve played in the sun. Kids are going back to school and fall weather will soon set in leading to winter. Now is the perfect time to do some preventative maintenance on your vehicle because we all know in the winter how a vehicle breaking down can be so inconvenient and at times deadly if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Lack of regular maintenance can jeopardize the investment you have made in your vehicle as well.
The following tips can give drivers a road map to fall car care.
- Check all fluid levels. If the fluid levels in your car are low, there is usually a reason behind the low level. A hose could have a small hole that could cause fluids to leak out. Talk to your local mechanic about the frequency in changing your oil.
- Check tread and air pressure on tires. Low tire pressure can be very dangerous and just as bad as having a bad tire. New tires not only give you better gas mileage but will be much safer as well.
- Check spark plugs and wires to ensure they are firing correctly. One spark plug that is not firing can be problematic.
- Apply high-grade car wax to your vehicles exterior to help protect it from the possible onslaught of snow, ice, sleet and freezing rain.
Our weather here in the Yakima valley can be so unpredictable. Last year’s winter season seemed unexpectedly endless. There were numerous school closures including some small businesses. If you didn’t have a decent set of tires on a rear wheel drive vehicle, you weren’t going anywhere! Whether it was for reasons of a long heavy winter being unexpected or simply procrastination, tire stores were definitely busy. Sales here at Steve Hahn’s Auto Group went up significantly, customers were flooding in, trading in and swooping up deals on all wheel drive vehicles. Our service department was equally busy with customers needing studded tires, battery checks, changing out the washer fluid to prevent freezing and cracking of the reservoirs and coolant flushes.
Here’s another helpful piece of advice. For all of us that travel over the passes, it’s also wise to put together a winter car survival kit. Jumper cables, flares, ice scrapers, road salt, flashlights, flares, blankets, first aid materials and snacks are all good to include in your kit. It is also beneficial not just for yourself but to potentially help others stranded and unprepared. Making sure to tell others where you are traveling to, when you are planning on taking a road trip during winter, is also another very important step in staying safe during the traitorous winter conditions. This way, if something were to happen to your or your vehicle, the person you communicated with can trace your trip plan to find you.
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