If you’re anything like me and treat your car with the same respect & adoration as your girlfriend, you know just how valuable it is to prepare your car for seasonal changes.
This goes double for those who live in North America & Europe where temperatures can spike up and down drastically, especially in the summer and winter months. Not to mention the potential risks to your own personal safety.
Environmental factors can take a heavy toll on your engine, windshield/glass, tires, brakes, paint, as well as the inner workings of your electrical system. Ignoring the risks that come with taxing your vehicle’s more sensitive areas puts you at risk of paying for repairs, having to replace your precious set of wheels, and perhaps most importantly, jeopardizing your own safety. It’s also a cardinal sin to allow your vehicle to degrade over time, even if you have a bucket of bolts, it gets you where you need to go, doesn’t it? The least you can do is treat it with respect!
Fear not, for there are plenty of simple and inexpensive ways for you to help ensure that your automobile stands the test that environmental factors present! You may be under the impression that you only need to prepare for the extreme winter and summer months but fall and spring also present unique challenges to your vehicle that shouldn’t be ignored.
Now it’s time to delve into just a few of the easy ways you can go about shielding your vehicle from the seasons, keep in mind that this list isn’t a replacement for your automobile technician/expert, and you’ll still need to consult them for more serious concerns like getting winter tires.
Protecting Your Vehicle in the Fall/Autumn Months
Now the autumn months doesn’t present nearly as many challenges as the more extreme seasons tend to do, the key to fall maintenance is in preparation. Fall is essentially going to be the calm before the storm when it comes to environmental factors facing your vehicle, winter is creeping closer and it’s better to be safe than sorry lest you be unprepared when the freezing cold winter rears its ugly head. If you’re due for an oil change, you should consider getting it over with in autumn so you don’t have to go through the extra trouble that comes with the cold weather.
And finally, it’s extremely important to ensure that your cars heater & defroster are in tip-top shape if you want any chance of your car surviving the cold season. We all know the awful feeling of trying to warm up your car before work on a chilly fall morning only to find that it’s become faulty over time. Be sure to consult your mechanic if you aren’t well versed in how to maintain/restore your vehicle’s heating mechanisms.
Protecting Your Vehicle in the Winter Months
If you’re in a region where snow is at all prevalent, you’ll want to take care of your winter tires before the winter comes. This is especially important for those driving smaller, more compact cars that don’t have the sort of torque or overall power that you’d see in a truck or SUV. Waking up one day only to find that it’s been snowing heavily all night and being without winter tires to get you safely to work or school is an absolute nightmare. Better to be prepared than scared, I always say or do I? Congratulations, now that you’ve gotten your winter tires all set up, you’re one step closer to getting through the freezing cold months without your car giving out on you! That being said, that’s only the start of what proper winter maintenance entails. The nasty roads and crazy drivers commonly associated with winter driving is just the first of many concerns…
Winter is by far the scariest time of year to drive, thousands of Americans perish annually from winter related accidents. In the blog post “Driving in the Snow” we learn that the majority of accidents related to driving in the snow are caused from reckless driving and speeding, the weather conditions should reflect the precautions you take before and while you’re driving in snowy/icy weather. Perhaps the most crucial vehicular factor during the cold season is the battery. After all, the battery is the heart of your automobiles electrical functions and neglecting means certain death. The typical car battery life is around 3-5 years, so if you know your battery is getting close to its expiry date, it might be worth doing some maintenance. Winter takes it toll on the battery thanks to cold starting electrical loads that speeds up the battery’s deterioration.
Thankfully, routine care/maintenance can extend the life of your battery and help protect it from the cold weather. If you don’t have professional equipment, there are a few auto-care steps you can take. Clean any and all spots of rust from your posts & cord connections, wipe off any dirt or oil buildup from the battery, and finally, ensure all of your connections remain secure. Be sure to wear proper eye protection, especially if you’re not well versed in auto-maintenance.
It’s also advised to clean off any dirt that may be lingering on your windshield, windshield wipers, rear view mirrors or anywhere else that dirt tends to build up. If you’re due for an oil change, better to get it over with before the weather gets extreme. And finally, if you have all-season tires, ensure that they’ve been rotated on time & inspect the pressure.
Protecting Your Vehicle in Summer/Spring
Now that winter has subsided, and the snow melted – in comes the dry, muddy season that we often associate with a rise in temperature. Now that we’ve survived the winter, it’s time to assess any damage that it might’ve caused. First of all, you’ll need to make sure that your brakes also survived the winter and the damage that can come with it. If you can’t get your mechanic to take a look at it, just listen for any grinding or other unusual noises that your brakes don’t usually make. Next, you’ll want to inspect any/all automotive fluids and top off as needed. Your engine is working hardest during the winter – if you haven’t done your scheduled oil change, do so!! If your engine is performing okay then the only thing left is to get your air conditioning expected, winter takes its toll and you don’t want a faulty air conditioner when at the moment of truth!
That wasn’t so bad, was it?.. Even if you’re not into cars as much as I am, you can sleep soundly knowing that your precious baby will be safe, no matter what challenges the elements may present. Remember to consult your mechanic/automotive expert before doing any sort of maintenance that may confuse or intimidate you – some things are best left to the experts.