he other day I was browsing through some Halloween decorations at my local retailer. Thankfully I was wearing a mask, otherwise one would have seen the glaring smirk that blanketed my face as I was met by Kris Kringle and his elves in the middle of the aisle.
It was like being on a nice Sunday drive down a familiar road, only to have a “Bridge Out” sign slap you in the face without warning. Sure, I like destinations further down the road, but there is something to be said about the journey, too. No matter what I tried to do, I could only start thinking about the winter…
With the staycations over, and the kids “back online to school,” winter will be here before we know it. While we all love the cool autumn evenings and warm cider by the fire, this is the perfect time to ensure worry-free driving come winter. Breakdowns in the winter are not only inconvenient, they can become dangerous, too.
Here is a road map for fall auto maintenance, and quite honestly, these items should be maintained throughout the year according to the manufacturer’s recommended service schedules.
Have Evan’s Auto Care check your engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc..) as cold weather will only make existing problems worse. Sometimes all it might take is a replacement of dirty filters, fuel, PCV, etc.
A bottle of motor treatment, such as Sea Foam, once a month in your fuel tank will help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Likewise, Sea Foam is also a great additive for other things like cleaning injectors, passageways, intake valves and pistons. Keeping a full tank of gas not only ensures that you will get to where you are going, it also helps to prevent moisture in the first place.
We can’t stress it enough that it is extremely important to keep up on your oil changes to ensure your vehicle continues to run smoothly. If your driving tends to be more stop-and-go and frequent short trips, it is imperative to change your oil and filter more often (every 3,000 miles or so).
The cooling system should be flushed and refilled as recommended. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by one of our ASE certified technicians, too.
Replace old blades. With a harsh winter climate such as Cincinnati’s, you might want to consider purchasing rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up. Stock up on windshield washer solvent as you’ll be surprised by how much you use. Make sure to get the proper fluid for the sub-freezing temperatures of the winter. And always have an ice-scraper in your car!
It takes professional equipment to detect a weak battery, and that is one of the things that sets us apart at Evan’s from other repair shops. Our technology, such as AutoLogic scanners, offer OE diagnostic software and support from brand specific OE certified technicians.
Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all lenses with a moistened cloth or towel. Some bulbs can be easily replaced, others such as Mercedes Benz have intricate digital technologies and should be left to the pros at Evan’s Auto Care.
Exhaust fumes can be fatal, and periodically you should have your vehicle inspected on a lift for any leaks. We always perform a multi point inspection to ensure that problems that have been overlooked don’t snowball into something larger.
Tire pressure should always be at the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation depending on the weather. It doesn’t take a master auto technician to realize that worn tires are of little use during the winter, too. Have us examine your tires for remaining tread life, as uneven wearing is not always visibly recognized.
At minimum, always be sure to have a blanket and gloves in your vehicle, along with a flashlight. Secondly, make sure that your tire jack is working properly, and having sand or kitty litter with a small shovel is great if you get stuck in minor snow and ice.
As always, thank you for trusting Evan’s Auto Care for your vehicle repair needs. We will always go the extra mile to make sure your automobile is safe, because you are part of our family here at Evan’s!