Looking for great end of summer car care tips? Here’s a handy list from the experts at South Denver Automotive in Denver, Colorado. Use this list to get your vehicle ready for the cold and keep it running smoothly all winter long. The last thing you want is a breakdown on a winter day!
Before you begin, be sure to check out the owner’s manual. There is a lot of great information in the manual plus you can find service schedules for your particular model.
Normally there will be two sets of manuals, one normal and one for severe driving conditions. They may also be labeled Schedule 1 and 2. While it might seem counterintuitive, “severe” can mean you take short trips, less than four miles or less than 10 in freezing temps, plus slower speeds or excessive stop and go driving, think Denver traffic! If you regularly tow a trailer or big loads, that also falls into the severe category.
Once you know what driving category you fall into, you can get going on basic end of summer car care with things like oil changes and other factory scheduled maintenance. Here are a few more service items to consider before the chill finally arrives.
If your vehicle is having any engine issues (rough idling, hard starts, less power, stalling among others), it will only get worse with cold weather so get your engine check and repairs now. You should also replace the fuel and air filters and any other filters that may be dirty.
Protect the Fuel Line
To keep excess moisture from freezing up the fuel line, add a bottle of fuel de-icer to your gas tank. Do so once a month for winter.
Ensure that your cooling system has been flushed and refilled according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. It’s also a good idea to have all the drive belts, clamps, and hoses inspected by a certified technician.
Windshield wipers are extremely important for visibility on day of inclement weather. Be sure that yours are strong enough to withstand ice.
Nobody wants the heat to go out on a snowy day, and the defroster is invaluable for keeping the windows clear so have your entire AC system and heater checked as well.
End of summer car care should include making sure that your battery connections are free of corrosion. Also clean and tighten all of the connections that may have been jogged loose while driving.
To properly inspect your exhaust system your vehicle needs to go up on a lift. While it’s up there, you should also have the trunk and floorboards inspected. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be more of a problem in the winter because people typically don’t have the windows down allowing for free air flow.
Check your tires to see how much tread remains. Old, worn tires are a big hazard on slick wintry roads. Change out and or rotate your tires as necessary.
Last but not least, prepare for the unexpected. Put together an emergency kit with things like extra warm clothes, boots, gloves, blankets, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter (use it to give your tires traction if you’re stuck in the mud), flashlight, tire chains, as well as food and water.
Doing these end of summer car care tasks will help to ensure that you don’t end up on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck this winter. For the professional stuff, be sure to give us a call here at South Denver Automotive. Our certified technicians will get your vehicle winter-ready.