Summer has ended and your vehicle needs more than just an oil change to run smoothly in the cooler months ahead. October is Fall Car Care Month and Toyota is teaming with automotive industry expert Jeff Fortson to provide tips for effective car maintenance as the season shifts.
Are your tires and windshield wipers equipped to handle lower temperatures? Is your heating/cooling system running properly? Is your mechanic ASE Certified? These are just some of the questions that motorists should consider as the season changes.
Fortson, editor of JeffCars.com, an educational car-buying guide for women and minorities, says consumers must prepare for the weather’s impact on their car’s drivability.
“Cars can perform trouble-free for long periods of time but as the temperature changes, it’s important to fine-tune your maintenance routine to get the best performance and avoid costly repairs,” said Fortson.
He advises following five car tips to prepare for the fall:
1. Listen. Pay attention to every sputter, clang from the engine, squealing tires and grinding brakes; your car might indicate it’s time for a check-up. At that point, get your vehicle inspected promptly.
2. Check. As temperatures begin to fluctuate, it’s essential to have your heating/cooling system checked in order to avoid any discomfort while you are driving. Improper maintenance for your heating/cooling system is one of the primary causes of vehicles overheating and breaking down.
3. Change. Replace the essentials -- your oil and filters -- at the recommended schedule. Also make sure to inspect your air, fuel and transmission filters.
4. Power up! Make sure your battery is fully functional. Have the battery checked and replaced as needed. Stock jumper cables in case you ever get stranded by a dead battery.
5. See the experts. Go to your local dealership. They are required to provide official automotive training for their technicians. This means experts will handle your vehicle.
Fortson cautions, “any unaddressed problems will lead to even more extensive and costly repairs down the road.”