Not many people actually take on a special spring cleaning project anymore but in the past, that was a convenient time to do those once a year home maintenance items. The fall is the perfect time to not only prepare for rough winter months but to also give your car a little love and attention. It works hard for you all year and needs some routine maintenance in order to continue working well for years to come.
During the fall season, car dealerships and oil change facilities advertise special pricing for many of these items so keep your eye on the local newspaper for great deals on these car care tips.

The Tires

Winter isn’t a good time to have bald tires. If they’re completely worn out or don’t have a lot of tread left, it’s time to replace them. If they look good, have your tires rotated to extend their life. If you have to replace your tires, replace all four because your tires are only as good as the worst one.

Coolant/Antifreeze

We don’t put a lot of thought in to that odd smelling green stuff that cools our engines but over time it gets dirty and inefficient eventually damaging critical systems.  Ideally, your radiator should be flushed and refilled with fresh coolant once per year but most of us don’t do that. How long has it been since you’ve flushed your radiator? You might want to get that done with your next oil change.

Windshield Wipers

 If they aren’t doing a good job with rain, they’re definitely not going to do well with sleet, snow, salt, and dirt. An all-purpose wiper will normally do the job but for those living in regions with an extra helping of winter, buy a higher priced winter wiper.
Also don’t forget your washer fluid. The cheap, summer mixture will freeze just when you need it most so buy the higher quality washer fluid. Even better, purchase the winter mix that is guaranteed not to freeze.

Engine

Does your engine sound strange? Does it sound like something has taken up residence in your engine? If it’s bad in the summer it’s going to get worse in the winter and that’s not the time to break down. Get it checked out now. Also make sure to change all of the filters and make sure your oil is new.

Fuel

For those in a place where winter is quite the formidable foe, pour a bottle of fuel deicer in the tank one per month to keep moisture from freezing in your fuel line. If you have ever had to pay to repair a frozen fuel line you know that the small expense of a de-icing agent now can save you a lot of money later.

Bottom Line

The problem with maintenance is that we pay money and what we get back is the same thing that we had before. Our car isn’t any more luxurious with a new air filter but we’re stuck paying the bill. Much like insurance, we pay for maintenance because we know that in the end, it will save us a lot of money by making our car last longer. Stomp around and be mad for a minute but then head out and get all of  these car care tips taken care of.

About Tom Drake

Tom Drake is the owner and head writer of the award-winning MapleMoney. With a career as a Financial Analyst and over eight years writing about personal finance, Tom has the knowledge to help you get control of your money and make it work for you.

Tweet
Share
Pin