Fall is upon us, time for cooler weather, building anticipation of the holiday season and pumpkin spice everything. While you may not do much to get ready for fall, it is important to make sure that your SUV is ready for the changing fall season. Preventative maintenance is one of the most important things you can do for your vehicle and using the seasons as a guideline helps you keep it all on schedule. While the change in climate may not be as significant in fall as it is going into winter or summer depending where you are on the planet, it is still a good time to start setting the stage in anticipation of winter weather. The following are eight tips to get your SUV ready for fall.
1 - Check/Change Your Oil
If you recently had an oil change, it is always a good idea to check your oil regularly and top off if necessary. If you have to add a significant amount of oil, you might want to make an appointment at your local repair shop to check for any leaks or problems. If you have not had a recent oil change, it is a good excuse to treat yourself to something pumpkin spice while you wait.
2 - Check Your Battery
A change in temperature can negatively affect your battery if it is not charging as it should, especially in cooler climates. Most auto parts stores can check your battery at no charge and can suggest replacement if necessary.
3 - Check Vital Fluids
Check your windshield washer fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and radiator to be sure that all are at their optimum levels. Top of any that might be down a small amount except for brake fluid. A loss of brake fluid is a sign of a significant problem that needs to be looked at by a mechanic.
4 - Check/Replace Windshield Wiper Blades
Inspect your windshield wiper blades for wear or damage and replace if necessary. If you live in a cooler climate you might also want to consider upgrading to heavy-duty winter wiper that stand up better to ice and snow.
5 - Check Your Tires
Check your tires for signs of excess wear or damage and check for proper air pressure. If you are on the verge of needing new tires, considering replacing them now before the bad weather hits and you get stuck on the side of the road with a flat or worse yet, get in an accident due to lack of the proper amount of tread.
6 - Check Belts, Hoses and Wires
Look under the hood at all of your visible belts, hoses, and wires for signs of damage and wear. Cold temperatures make belts and hoses less pliable and any damage or wear can lead to failure when the thermometer drops. Damaged wiring is always a hazard no matter what season it is and should be replaced immediately.
7 - Is it Time for a Tune-Up?
If your SUV has not had a tune-up recently, having them done when seasons change is a good way to keep them on a schedule. It also allows your mechanic to do a thorough inspection of your SUV so any areas of concern can be addressed before they become a problem.
8 - Wash and Wax
Depending on your climate, this could be the last time to get a wash and wax in before the temperatures drop. Whether you do it yourself or take it somewhere to have it done, make sure that your SUV gets a good cleaning in and out topped off by a coat of high-quality wax. Wax not only protects your finish from the sun but from salt, sand and other debris you may encounter in inclement weather.
These eight tips provide you with a great checklist to use to get your SUV ready for fall. If you live in the northern half of the country, you also might want to consider putting together a winter safety kit to keep in your SUV as well. Taking care of your vehicle is important not only for your safety but it helps maintain the resale value of any vehicle. We hope that these tips can help you get your SUV ready for fall and help you enjoy the season free of any vehicle trouble!
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