Car Care: Changing of the seasons
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AS THE WEATHER COOLS, ENSURE THE CAR IS READY FOR AUTUMN, WRITES JACK BIDDLE
The change in season from summer to autumn changes road surfaces and your vehicle needs to be prepared for that. Your tyres have to work harder and your lights will be on on earlier in the day.
Over time and with autumn bringing wet weather, the wiper blades can suffer from wear and tear and must be replaced regularly.
Wiper blades can be bought from all automotive specialist stores or at service stations, and cost between $10 and $30. Check if you are unsure about sizes and remember to buy three if you have a rear window wiper.
They are easy to replace, just slide off the old ones and replace with new ones — and you’ll have clear windows for winter.
In autumn, tyres should always have plenty of tread on them to cope with the changing conditions. If you notice your tyre tread wearing thin, it is time to replace them. Visit a tyre specialist for a tyre check if you are unsure.
Check the spare or spacesaver too (if you have one).
For every 10 degree drop of temperature your tyre pressure can drop by one PSI (pound per square inch).
Be sure to check your tyre pressure at least once a week. The proper inflation pressure will be listed in your owner’s manual, otherwise check with a professional.
Car electrics can corrode and short-out due to colder temperatures, so checking these regularly is important.
Makes sure all your lights are working and that you are getting the right amount of light. It is worth having extra bulbs as backup as well. Check your battery terminals for rust and corrosion.
Replacing your car’s air filter before autumn is recommended. Grime, water and other nasties can take hold on a well-used filter, reducing fuel economy, performance and cleanness of emissions.
As there are many different types of filter, it is best to consult your owner’s manual or a specialist as to which is best.
Top up your car’s vital fluids. This includes brake fluid, windscreen washer fluid and radiator coolant. All the necessary fluids can be bought from automotive specialists stores.
With colder nights and mornings on their way, make sure your heater and de-mister is working well. Fogged up windows and a cold cabin can compromise safety and your well-being, so make sure both are in working order.
Wash and wax
Giving your car a regular wash and wax will protect the metal surfaces from pitting and corroding. A thick coat of wax can also work well against wet weather and road grime.
Over summer grime can build on your front and rear headlights. Spend a few minutes washing all your lights with soapy water — and you’ll be a bright spark on the road.