With the nip of fall in the air, it is now time to think about your car or truck and the fall and winter weather ahead of us.  As the season changes, car care and preventative maintenance can save you money as well as hassle. Routine maintenance, using quality parts can help to keep your vehicle moving and you safe through the most difficult driving  conditions of the year.  Here are a few tips for servicing your vehicle for the season:

TUNE-UPS: With the technology of today’s vehicles, we seldom think about tune-ups. But as your vehicle ages, parts wear, and a tune-up may be warranted. Details are outlined in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

BRAKES: keeping a check on your brakes, can avoid costly repairs and possibly save you injury. Waiting too long can result in damage to the rotors, which will be considerably more expensive.

OIL CHANGE: Motor oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle. It is very important to follow the maintenance schedule for oil changes. The manufacturer’s warranty requires oil changes at regular intervals. Again, check the owner’s manual.

BATTERY CHECKUP: Being stranded in the cold is never a good idea, batteries older than 4 years begin to show their age in colder weather.

FILTERS AND HOSES: Make sure all filters (ie: oil, gas and air) are in good condition. Check the coolant and thermostat to assure proper warming up of the engine. Be certain the heater and defrost are providing proper heat to the passenger compartment and windows. The coolant in newer vehicles can last up to five years. It is always a good idea to check for soft or leaking hoses and replace the bad ones.

TIRE PRESSURE: Check your tires for proper inflation and excessive wear. Be careful not to over or under inflate the tires. Low pressure increases the wear and fuel consumption, while too much pressure can reduce traction. Also remember that as the weather gets cooler, your tire pressure can decrease.

VEHICLE WARM-UP: Allows for proper engine oil-flow and lubrication. Please allow your engine to idle for a few seconds and drive slowly for the first few miles, so that your engine oil warms to the proper temperature.

There are also a few over-looked preventive measures, which need to be addressed:
FALLING LEAVES: When the leaves start to fall, they fall on your yard, as well as your vehicle. The leaves can build up on your vehicle and cause problems. Keep a check on the air vents under the windshield and keep them clear of debris, this debris can cause leaks and corrosion.

WINDSHIELD WIPERS: Rain, fog and snow will cut your visibility down very low in the Fall and Winter months. Note: your wipers usually have a lifespan of a year.

HEADLIGHTS: Here’s a little detail that most people don’t think about, in the short days and gloom of winter. You will need every last lumen that your headlights can produce. First, make sure your headlights are clean of dirt, rub car wax on them, let it dry and apply a second coat. This slippery surface will leave your headlights and tail lights gleaming.

Just one more tip: Always carry an emergency kit in your vehicle, including bottled water, blankets, non-perishable food, candle, lighter, whistle, etc…

Have a safe and happy fall and winter season by following these simple maintenance tips, from Hosick Motors of Vandalia, Illinois.